Is an accounting required during the probate of an estate for receipts, disbursements, and distributions?

Posted on Oct 14 2013 9:09AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

T.C.A. § 30-2-601 provides a requirement that the personal representative of an estate must file an accounting with the clerk of the Probate Court within fifteen months from the date of qualification as the personal representative.  This accounting includes a written report of all receipts, disbursements and distributions of any kind from the estate (as well as identify the remaining assets in the estate).  T.C.A. § 30-2-601(a) provides as follows:


(a) Within fifteen (15) months from the date of qualification, the personal representative shall make an accounting with the clerk of the court exercising probate jurisdiction in the county of the estate. After the first accounting and until the estate is fully administered, the personal representative shall make further accountings annually from the date of the first accounting. The accountings shall state all receipts, disbursements and distributions of principal and income for the accounting period and the remaining assets held in the estate and shall be verified by the oath of the personal representative before the clerk or any person authorized by law to administer oaths in such cases. The final accounting shall state the personal representative has mailed or delivered notice of the requirement to file claims required by § 30-2-306(d) to the creditors of the decedent who were known to or reasonably ascertainable by the personal representative. For good cause shown to the court, it may extend the time for filing the accountings. However, detailed accountings of solvent estates may be waived if:


It is important to note that the accounting required in T.C.A. § 30-2-601 can be waived in two specific circumstances.  Under the statute an accounting of an estate can be waived if:


(1) The decedent by the decedent's will waived the requirement for the personal representative to make court accountings of the estate; or

(2) All of the distributees of the residue file with the clerk of the court waivers excusing the personal representative from filing all court accountings.


As a result, when drafting a will, it is important to consider adding a specific term into the will that any accounting by the personal representative is waived.  This is a pretty standard term in most modern wills.  This is often very desirable in order to reduce attorney’s fees, paperwork and hassle of handling an estate.  In the alternative, the individual may make a decision to not waive the accounting under T.C.A. § 30-2-601 in order to force a written record of all events in the estate to be filed with the court so that all who are interested in the estate have an open book on what occurred.  The second way to waive accounting is if all distributees of an estate agree in writing to waive the accounting.


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TAGS: Probate Process, Executor/Executrix, Tennessee Probate Law
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. Contact Jason at 615-540-1004 or jlee@burrowlee.com for an initial consultation on wills estate planning and probate issues.

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Tennessee Wills and Estates Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
611 Commerce Street, Suite 2603
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com