What is an Estate Accounting?

What is an Estate Accounting? | What Information Should an Estate Accounting Contain in Illinois Probate?

Video by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
November 8, 2019

In this article, we answer the questions: "What is an estate accounting in Illinois probate?" We also answer what information should be included in an estate accounting? and how often is an Estate accounting made after the case is opened?

What is an Estate Accounting?

An estate accounting is a document made by an executor or administrator of an estate which contains all of a decedent’s assets and instructions for how those assets have been or will be distributed.  An executor is typically named in the decedent’s will and approved by the court, as long as the representative is fit to serve as executor.  In the absence of a will or nomination of an unfit candidate, the court will assign a representative to act as administrator for the case.

What Information Should Be Included in an Estate Accounting?

An estate accounting usually contains:

  • A list of assets and liabilities;
  • A summary of transactions attributable to each asset;
  • A list of all checks paid out; and
  • A copy of vouchers or receipts attained while facilitating the distribution of assets.

Other costs that accumulate as a result of the decedent’s passing or the distribution of assets should also be included, such as:

  • Funeral costs;
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Creditor payments
  • Court fees; and
  • Details of any bank accounts or records that were opened on behalf of the decedent to allocate the estate.

The executor is responsible for the decedent’s assets and distribution as well as the estate accounting, making it a very important job with the potential for some very serious consequences if it is not done properly.

For more information about estate accounting, see our article entitled Who is Entitled to Estate Accounting in Illinois?

How Often is an Estate Accounting Made After the Case is Opened?

The frequency of estate accounting is different for each case and depends upon the type of probate you are going through.  For independent administration, the executor is not required to account to the court unless an interested person requests such an accounting.  Supervised administration, however, requires that an executor make a full accounting to the court within 60 days of the one-year anniversary of the case, prior to the end of the estate administration and on an interim basis scheduled by the court.  Supervised administration is often only necessary when there are a lot of disputes over the estate.

In both a supervised and independent administration, the executor is required to provide the accounting to interested parties prior to closing the estate. These include creditors, beneficiaries, and heirs. For more information, see our article: Who is Entitled to Estate Accounting in Illinois Probate Estates.

To learn more about the probate process, check out our article entitled  When Should an Estate Executor Provide an Accounting in Illinois Probate?

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What Information Should Be Included in an Estate Accounting?

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