My brother is refusing to give an accounting of the estate assets – Why?
A beneficiary of an estate has the right to an accounting of estate assets. Once an accounting has been requested, Florida probate law requires that it be produced within a reasonable amount of time. In fact, the law requires a Personal Representative to file an accounting with the court and to serve it on all affected beneficiaries (unless it has been waived) when the administration of the estate is complete. The accounting must be signed by the person preparing it to hold that person responsible for the information contained in the accounting. Most importantly, a beneficiary has the right to inspect the documents (for example, bank records, receipts, and checks) to confirm that the accounting being produced is supported by the evidence. A probate litigation lawyer should never accept an accounting for her client without the supporting documentation to ensure accuracy. Be very wary of a fiduciary who refuses to produce an accounting because he probably has something to hide.