Court and fiduciary accountings
If you are a fiduciary—such as a trustee, executor, administrator, guardian, or conservator—one of your duties is to account for the property and debts of the matter to which you have been appointed. In order to account for property and debts, you are ordinarily required to prepare what is commonly called a court accounting, though it is sometimes called a fiduciary, judicial, trust, probate, or estate accounting. This is a very special type of accounting because it must conform both in substance and in format to requirements set forth under various state statutes and local court rules, as promulgated under the Uniform Principal and Income Act (UPIA).
Consequently, a court accounting fundamentally differs from, say, a business financial statement, personal net worth statement, or a loan application. Because various statutes identify what must be accounted for, how it must be accounted, the format of the accounting, what forms and schedules must be filed, and when the accounting must be filed, it is easy for someone who has never prepared a court accounting to make a mistake. If you as a fiduciary err in your accounting, and if court approval is required, your accounting may be rejected by the judge. Even if your accounting does not require court approval, an error can cause delays and trigger challenges by beneficiaries and accusations that you breached your fiduciary obligations. These risks are compounded if you must prepare and file periodic accountings or if the matter is financially complicated.
We can help
Aho & Associates has extensive experience in preparing court accountings and advising fiduciaries on how best to meet their accounting obligations, especially in matters involving complex transactions and accounts, operating businesses, related trusts, and complicated estate plans.
For situations where previous accountings are incomplete or inaccurate, we offer records reconstruction services. And if allegations or suspicions of fiduciary fraud or misconduct have been raised, we provide fiduciary misconduct investigation services.