February 16, 2012

Most people feel honoured and/or touched when they learn for the first time (they are rarely asked beforehand) that they are named as an executor or a trustee. However, the honeymoon quickly wears thin when it becomes apparent to the newly appointed executor or trustee how much work is often required. The prospects darken further when the twin duties of reporting and accounting to the beneficiaries are explained to the executor or trustee.

It is trite law that fiduciaries are held to a higher standard. They are also, rightfully, required to account for their actions. Accounting to the beneficiaries is often where the trouble starts or, to put a more positive spin on it, the first step on the long road to emancipation for the executor or trustee. While an executor or trustee is not required per se to pass his/her accounts, an informal accounting is almost always required by the beneficiaries and a formal court application to pass accounts is often not far behind.

This paper will consider contested passing of accounts in all of their various manifestations – contested accounting entries, claims of negligence and misconduct, contested compensation claims, requests for increased legal fees, etc. The paper will conclude by canvassing recent decisions of note.

Read the full paper here: Contested Passing of Accounts Paper by Justin de Vries