An executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased person's estate.Read more
To answer your last question first, only the executor is entitled to the deceased’s financial records. However, the executor has a duty to provide the beneficiaries with any information they need to manage what they receive from the estate. In addition, if a dispute arises – for instance, if the beneficiaries challenge the executor’s account – they would have the right to discovery, meaning that they could ask questions and get copies of all financial accounts. In general, even if the executor technically controls financial records, it is better to be transparent. Lack of transparency breeds distrust.
In terms of how long to keep records, the rule of thumb for tax records is seven years. However, this does not mean you have to keep the records in paper form. You can scan the documents. The executor can dispose of other financial records as soon as the final account is approved by the probate court. Nevertheless, it can’t hurt to continue to maintain digital records in case they are needed in the future.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Jean Galloway Ball is certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation. She is a 1977 honors graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University, and she did her undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1971. She is admitted to practice in Vir...
Ron M. Landsman has been practicing elder law since 1983, before it was known as elder law, originally with Landsman and Laster, Washington, D.C., then Landsman, Eakes and Laster, also in Arlington, VA, and since 1990 in his own practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has been among the most active members of the...