I'm an Executor of my sister's estate (NJ, Camden County) and I am about to zero out the estate by taking the executor's fee (less than what I have rights to because the estate balance won't cover the full 5% at this point). I've paid expenses to keep my sister's condo on the market (short sale most likely and the last asset to be liquidated). If I close the estate accounts by taking my admin. fee, do I need to have a formal accounting done? I have kept a log of every expense I paid with the estate funds and can produce answers for each expense.
2 Answers from Attorneys
A formal accounting is only required if the bveneficiaries require it.
Generally, I agree with Larry. However, unless you are the sole heir, I suggest you provide an informal accounting and have the heirs approve it. It may save you some difficulty down the road if there is an unhappy heir. A "formal accounting" is one submitted throught the Surrogate's Court and is rarely done. An informal one can be done just between you and the rest of the heirs. At some point you will need Refunding Bonds and Releases from all heirs to close the estate with the Surrogate, even if they get nothing or minimal amounts, so having them approve something now is wise. This is a response to an Internet question and the reply is not intended to be legal advice or as creating at attorney-client relationship.