A beneficiary or person with standing can compel an estate trustee/executor, attorney for property for an incapable person (aka “POA”), trustee of a trust, or guardian of property to pass his or her accounts in court. A passing of accounts is like a court audit of the trustee’s accounts. Sometimes, a court application to pass accounts is initiated by the trustee and sometimes it is initiated by a beneficiary or another person with standing to challenge the accounts. The beneficiaries of an estate have a right to know the extent of the estate’s original assets and liabilities, and to review all payments made and received by the estate trustee.
Furthermore, the beneficiaries have the right to object formally to any transaction that they consider suspicious, demand further information and documentation, and/or object to the amount of compensation claimed by the estate trustee. If the beneficiaries’ objections are not answered to their satisfaction, a hearing is held before a judge who will decide the matter and ultimately pass the accounts. A passing of accounts can be complicated and hard fought. de VRIES LITIGATION can help fiduciaries at every stage of their role – providing advice about how to fulfill their duties, putting accounts into court passing form, responding to objections, and, if necessary, representing the interests of the fiduciary in court. We can also help beneficiaries to hold fiduciaries accountable for their handling of estate assets.