From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I served as Executor of my Mother’s estate last year in Camden County, and I obtained releases from all of the Estate’s beneficiaries. Now, one of the beneficiaries who signed a release filed a petition asking me to account. Do I need to Account? What should I do?
The short answer is no, that beneficiary cannot require you to file an accounting.
Unless there are some exceptional circumstances, the Beneficiary waived their right to ask for an accounting after signing the release. In Camden County, unless special cause is shown, an executor typically can be called to account one year after his or her appointment in office.
However, you were smart to have the beneficiaries sign a release. Under New Jersey law, a fiduciary is not required to file an account upon request of a beneficiary who has already signed a release. Assuming the beneficiary was competent to sign, and the release was properly acknowledged, you should be in the clear.
So long as there is no fraud, misrepresentation, mismanagement, or undue influence by the executor—or substantial misunderstanding by the beneficiary—an attorney experienced in Camden County estate litigation will be able to assist you in handling this petition.
If have questions regarding estate litigation in Camden County, contact one of our experienced New Jersey estate litigation attorneys for a free consultation.