Accounting and Reporting for Estates

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In estate administration, accounting is used to maintain accountability for the assets of the deceased and ensure their proper administration and distribution. The accounts used in estate accounting maintain the distinction between principal (capital or corpus) and income.

For principal, individual asset accounts are used to record the fair market value of each asset on the date of death. The estate principal account is credited when the asset accounts are debited and represents the basic equity of the estate. The assets subsequently discovered account is used to record any assets that were not included in the original inventory on the date of death. The gain (loss) on realization account is used to record any gain or loss on the disposal of the decedent's assets, and the debts of decedent paid account is used to record the payment of debts and legacies.

For income, the estate income account is used to record income collections, expense accounts are used to record expenses allocated to the interests of income beneficiaries, and the distributions to income beneficiaries account is used to record the distribution of income to the income beneficiary.

The personal representative is required to prepare and submit two types of reports to the court: a charge and discharge statement for principal and a charge and discharge statement for income. These reports provide detailed information on the assets, liabilities, income, and expenses of the estate.

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