Passing of Accounts in Ontario
The passing of accounts by an estate trustee is a very technical process. An estate trustee may have have to seek Court approval for his or her administration of the estate. It can be a daunting process for to any trustee who is not an experienced estate lawyer.
It is important to be careful if you are considering retaining a lawyer to assist with the passing of accounts.
Lawyers who are not experienced in estate administration may also also find the process of passing of accounts confusing. The Substitute Decisions Act and the Rules of Civil Procedure govern the procedure by which trustees and fiduciaries are required to pass accounts in Ontario. The same accounting procedure is prescribed for attorneys under a power of attorney, guardians of property, trustees under an inter vivos trust, and estate trustees.
A trustee is legally required to always keep estate accounts, but is only required to have them approved by the Court under certain circumstances. This includes situations where the beneficiaries are: 1. minors, 2. mentally incapable, 3. unascertained, or 4. contingent.
The trustee can be compelled to pass accounts or the trustee can do so voluntarily under section 48 of the Estates Act. A beneficiary can challenge the actions or handling of the estate accounts by the trustee by obtaining a Court order. This may result in the trustee being ordered to pass the accounts.
In certain situations, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee plays a role in the passing of accounts procedure. If the Public Guardian and Trustee is involved, it is prudent to retain an estate litigation lawyer. When there are no other appropriate individuals to act, the Public Guardian and Trustee may be appointed to review accounts. This may be the case when accounts are submitted by attorneys, guardians of property, or estate trustees to the court for approval.
For example, trustees may interact with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee in cases where there are beneficiaries who are mentally incapable and who have no guardian or attorney to protect their best interests.
Help for Trustees With the Passing of Accounts
Charles Ticker is an experienced estate litigation lawyer who can assist with the passing of accounts. When you retain Charles Ticker to assist you in obtaining court approval of your accounts, he will work with you step by step through a range of complex statutory procedures. Mr. Ticker will:
1. Prepare and file the necessary documents (such as the accounts, the trustee’s affidavit and certificate of appointment, and the notice of application to pass accounts);
2. Make sure the complicated conditions for the accounts to be in proper form are satisfied;
3. Serve all required documents 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);
4. Attend the hearing or accompany you to it if you are required to attend; and
5. Prepare the judgment and have it signed, issued and endorsed by the Court.
In Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor and the County of Essex, mediation is mandatory for a contested passing of accounts. Charles Ticker is a qualified mediator. His experience as a mediator allows him to provide practical and cost-efficient advice.
The information on this website is not legal advice. It is for informative purposes only. To schedule an appointment, call Mr. Ticker at: 1-866-677-7746. A lawyer can only be retained after a consultation where all the details of the matter and retainer are discussed.