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  • Writer's pictureDenise Davis

How To Get An Executor of An Estate to Share Information With You

Updated: Jun 28

In North Carolina, heirs who are not receiving adequate information from the executor about the estate’s assets and financial transactions have the right to petition the court for an inventory and accounting. This process ensures transparency and helps protect the interests of the beneficiaries. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to petition the court for inventory and accounting.

Step 1: Understand the Grounds for Petition

Before filing a petition, it's crucial to understand the grounds for requesting an inventory and accounting. Common reasons include:

  • Lack of communication from the executor.

  • Suspicions of mismanagement or improper handling of estate assets.

  • Failure of the executor to provide a timely inventory and accounting.

Step 2: Consult an Attorney

While it is possible to file a petition without legal representation, consulting an attorney with experience in probate law is highly recommended. An attorney can provide guidance, ensure that the petition is properly drafted, and represent the heir's interests in court.

Step 3: Prepare the Petition

The petition should be a formal document that includes:

  • Title: Include a title such as "Petition for Inventory and Accounting."

  • Caption: The caption should include the name of the deceased, the probate court case number, and the name of the court.

  • Introduction: Briefly state the purpose of the petition.

  • Heir’s Information: Provide the heir’s full name, relationship to the deceased, and contact information.

  • Executor’s Information: Include the executor’s full name and any relevant details about their role.

  • Estate Information: Provide details about the estate, including when probate was opened and any relevant background information.

  • Reasons for the Petition: Clearly state the reasons for requesting an inventory and accounting, supported by facts and any evidence of the executor’s failure to comply with their duties.

  • Relief Sought: Specify the action the heir wants the court to take, such as ordering the executor to provide a detailed inventory and accounting of the estate.

Step 4: File the Petition

The petition must be filed with the clerk of the probate court handling the estate. The specific steps to file the petition include:

  • Obtain the correct forms: Visit the probate court’s website or office to obtain any required forms.

  • Complete the forms: Fill out the forms completely and accurately.

  • Pay the filing fee: Be prepared to pay a filing fee, which varies by county.

  • Submit the forms: File the completed forms and petition with the court clerk. Make sure to keep copies for your records.

  • Although it is highly suggested you get an attorney to assist you with the petition you can find an example here if you are going to try it on your own.

Step 5: Serve the Petition

After filing the petition, the heir must serve a copy of the petition on the executor and any other interested parties. This can be done through certified mail with a return receipt requested or by using a process server. Proof of service must be filed with the court.

Step 6: Attend the Hearing

The court will schedule a hearing to review the petition. During the hearing:

  • Present the case: The heir or their attorney will present the reasons for the petition and any supporting evidence.

  • Executor’s response: The executor will have an opportunity to respond to the petition.

  • Judge’s decision: The judge will make a decision based on the information presented. If the petition is granted, the court will issue an order requiring the executor to provide a detailed inventory and accounting of the estate.

Step 7: Follow Up

After the court issues the order, the executor will be required to comply within a specified timeframe. The heir should monitor the executor’s compliance and notify the court if the executor fails to provide the requested information.


Petitioning the court for an inventory and accounting is a legal right that heirs in North Carolina can exercise when they believe the executor is not fulfilling their duties transparently. By understanding the process and following the necessary steps, heirs can ensure that the estate is managed properly and that their interests are protected. Consulting with an experienced attorney can provide valuable assistance and increase the likelihood of a successful petition.

Denise Harper Davis


Realtor | Investor | Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist

If you need a realtor to help you sell a home you inherited, a home included in probate or maybe you just want to sell a home you own, contact me.  I am a NC realtor and together we will discuss the best options to get your home sold. Whether it's a quick cash offer or listing it on the market for top-dollar, I can help you!

📌 Disclaimer: The above information is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney for personalized guidance on your specific situation.

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