If you are the personal representative of a California probate estate and coming to the point where you can close it and distribute its assets, you must prepare and file a final accounting before the Probate Court can actually close the estate. Per the Superior Court of Orange County, California, your final accounting must outline all the financial transactions in which the estate has been involved. The only exception is if all of the estate’s distributees sign written waivers to the accounting or written acknowledgments that they have received their respective estate shares during one or more preliminary distributions.
Your accounting must contain the following:
- The date on which the estate was opened
- The period during which it has remained open
- A financial statement
- The inventory value of each asset as of the date the estate was opened
- The appraised and market values of any remaining estate property
After providing this preliminary information, your accounting then must summarize all financial transactions that have occurred during your administration, including the following:
- The value of all estate assets subsequently received
- The amount of income the estate has received, such as from interest and/or dividends
- The net income of any business or trade
- Gains and/or losses on any sales
- Any estate disbursements
- Any preliminary distributions to estate beneficiaries
You should support these transactions with the appropriate receipts, schedules and other documents that pertain to them. While this information should not be taken as legal advice, it can help you understand the process and what to expect.