Passing of accounts in Ontario
The passing of accounts by an estate trustee or executor is a very technical process. The executor may have to obtain Court approval for his or her administration of the estate. Furthermore, the executor may be exposed to personal liability for any misconduct associated with the way the estate assets have been managed.
The process of passing of accounts can be very demanding for any trustee or executor who is not an experienced estate lawyer. When retaining an estate lawyer to assist with the passing of accounts, it is important to select a lawyer with previous experience in this area of estate law. If a lawyer is not experienced in estate administration, then passing of accounts may be confusing or difficult to manage.
Passing of accounts and help for executors, attorneys, and guardians for property
In Ontario, Section 23 of the Trustee Act, Section 48 of the Estates Act, and the Rules of Civil Procedure govern the procedure by which trustees, executors, and fiduciaries may voluntarily or be ordered by the Court to pass accounts. Attorneys or guardians of property may be required to pass their accounts under Section 42 of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992.
A trustee is legally required to keep track of estate accounts. The trustee may be required to have his or her accounting approved by the Court under certain circumstances such as when the beneficiaries of the estate are: minors, mentally incapable, unascertained, or contingent. A beneficiary can challenge the actions of the estate trustee and take steps to obtain a Court order to have the accounts assessed. This may result in the trustee being ordered by a Court to pass accounts. The passing of accounts may also arise when a party is interested in removing an executor due to alleged misconduct by the executor.
The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee may play a role in the passing of accounts procedure. When there are no appropriate individuals to act, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee may be appointed to review the accounts. Estate trustees may interact with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee if there are beneficiaries who are mentally incapable and who do not have a guardian or attorney to protect their interests.
Charles Ticker has been a lawyer for over 35 years and restricts his practice to estate litigation, estate administration and mediation of estate disputes. If you are a trustee who needs legal advice for the passing of accounts, he can assist you with the following:
- Preparation and filing the required documentation such as the accounts, the trustee’s affidavit and certificate of appointment, and the notice of application to pass accounts;
- Ensuring that accounts are in proper form;
- Serving all required documentation on all beneficiaries, including the Office of the Children’s Lawyer and the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee where there are minor or mentally incapable beneficiaries, respectively);
- Attending the hearing or accompanying you if you are required to attend; and
- Preparing a judgment to be signed, issued, and endorsed by the Court.
The information on this website is not legal advice. It is for informative purposes only. Contacting us through the website, email, or telephone does not mean you have retained a lawyer. To book a consultation with an estate litigation lawyer, call Mr. Ticker at: 1-866-677-7746.