Estate accounts
Estate accounts

The following Wills & Probate practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Estate accounts
  • Duty to keep estate accounts
  • Books of account
  • The journal
  • The cashbook
  • The ledger
  • Maintenance
  • Other records
  • Income tax and CGT to the date of death
  • Completing the Self Assessment tax return
  • More...

Duty to keep estate accounts

Section 25 of the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (AEA 1925) provides that personal representatives (PRs) have a duty to render an account of the administration of the estate to the court if requested. It is good practice for PRs to keep ongoing accounts in any case in order to demonstrate the correct and proper administration of the estate.

PRs should make full accounts available on completion of the administration for distribution to the residuary beneficiaries. Where an estate takes more than two years to administer, it is recommended that an interim account is produced, or annual interim accounts if the administration takes several years.

The estate accounts must be made available for inspection by any beneficiary or creditor at their request.

If the PRs do not provide information to those properly requesting it, an application may be made by originating summons in the Chancery Division for an order for an account to be rendered.

Books of account

To produce estate accounts, the PRs must collect and maintain adequate information and documentation about the assets and liabilities of the estate, payments made and monies collected in, distributions to beneficiaries and other transfers and adjustments.

The PRs must maintain records that enable them to:

  1. prepare accounts from time to time

  2. deal with any tax queries, including the preparation of the Form IHT400 and the tax returns of

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