Fairfax, VA Probate Blog

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Statement in Lieu of Accounting: Cost & Time Saving Opportunity

A Statement in Lieu of Accounting gives beneficiaries the opportunity to complete the administration of the estate in a timely and cost efficient manner. In addition, it can save the personal representative of the probate estate (executor/ administrator) considerable duress and money.

If all distributees of a decedent's estate or all residuary beneficiaries under a decedent's will are personal representatives of that decedent's estate, whether serving alone or with others who are not distributees or residuary beneficiaries, the personal representatives may, in lieu of the settlement of accounts required by the Commissioner of Accounts, file a statement under oath that

(i) all known charges against the estate have been paid,

(ii) six months have elapsed since the personal representatives qualified in the clerk's office, and

(iii) the residue of the estate has been delivered to the distributees or beneficiaries.

In the case of a residuary beneficiary, the statement shall include an itemized listing, substantiated and accompanied by proper vouchers, showing satisfaction of all other bequests in the will. The statement shall be considered an account stated and subject to all the provisions of this chapter applicable to accounts stated.

Probate Attorney Note:

There are reasons why a Statement in Lieu of Accounting may not be advisable for everyone. Also, if Statement in Lieu of Accounting is advisable, certain steps need to be taken to protect the personal representative of the probate estate (executor/ administrator) from liability. An attorney should be consulted.

If the State Statement in Lieu of Accounting cannot be filed with the commissioner of accounts within the time prescribed, the personal representatives, within that time, shall file either (i) an interim account or (ii) a written notice under oath that the personal representatives intend to file a statement in lieu of the settlement of accounts when all requirements of this section have been met, which shall include an explanation of why such a statement cannot presently be filed.

Second and subsequent interim accounts or notices of intent to file shall be filed annually until the statement in lieu of the settlement of accounts is filed. A commissioner of accounts who determines that the reasons offered for not presently filing a statement in lieu of settlement are not sufficient, whether in a first or subsequent written notice, may require the personal representatives to file an interim account in addition to the notice. The filing of an interim account shall not preclude the filing of a subsequent statement.

The Lenzi Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. including Fort Washington, Falls Church, Ft. Myer, Vienna, Rosslyn, Springfield, Mount Vernon, Annandale, Fort Belvoir, Fairfax, Dunn Loring, Merrifield, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Burke, Great Falls, Fredericksburg, Stafford and Herndon in Arlington County, Alexandria County, & Fairfax County.

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