If a theme were to emerge from the contested passing of accounts cases that were decided in 2013, it would be “protect the innocent”. In some cases, this theme manifested itself in decisions to remove trustees who acted improperly or to surcharge trustees who misappropriated funds. In other cases, judges protected honest (albeit imperfect) fiduciaries against spurious complaints. Many of the recent decisions emphasize that well-intended fiduciaries will not be held to a standard of perfection. Moreover, meritless or petty complaints by beneficiaries will be met with judicial disapproval and punished in costs.
To read the full paper, click here.