Putting decades of experience to work for you.

We regularly support personal representatives, trustees, attorneys and guardians of property in matters of accountability.

We have decades of experience that allow us to efficiently and strategically navigate the following scenarios:

  • Preparing accounts in proper court form
  • Commencing applications to pass accounts
  • Filing accounts with the court where there are no objections to accounts or where objections are withdrawn before the scheduled hearing
  • Engaging in the mediation process to resolve disputes over accounts
  • Appearing at a court hearing of the application on any issues arising in the application to pass accounts

We also represent persons having a financial interest in an estate who wish to compel a personal representative, trustee, attorney for property, or guardian of property, to pass his or her accounts; in reviewing accounts and preparing notices of objection to accounts; and representing the person having a financial interest in the court hearing or trial.

Passing of Accounts

“Passing of Accounts” refers to the presentation of formal accounts to the beneficiaries of a will and to the Court, which are examined by the Court and either:

  • Approved, or “passed”
  • Amended by court order
  • Not passed because the Court is not satisfied with the accounting or some aspect of the administration of the estate reflected in the accounts

Estate Trustees and other trustees, attorneys for property and guardians of property of mentally incapable individuals must, by law, maintain records of their dealings with the property under their administration and care. All types of trustees may be required to pass their accounts. However, a trustee may also voluntarily decide to have his or her accounts audited by the Court. Once a trustee’s accounts have been passed by the court, the trustee is absolved from any objection or liability for any expenditure included in the accounting.

Notice of Objection

Any person who is unsatisfied with the accounts or the claim for compensation by the trustee may file a Notice of Objection in the court. Objections to accounts arise when accounts are not properly prepared in accordance with the Rules of Court so that it is difficult to understand the various transactions.

Objections can also arise when beneficiaries object to a particular disbursement made by the personal representative, trustee, guardian or attorney from the estate or the amount of the disbursement. A person having a financial interest could have an objection relating to the choice of investments or rates of return on funds invested in the estate or trust. Finally, the amount of compensation claimed by the personal representative, the allowance of which is at the discretion of the court, is often the basis for disagreement between beneficiaries and trustees.

For assistance with your trustee accountability enquiry, please contact Sarah Williamson by email or at 613.544.0211, ext. 8051.

Accountability Lawyers

Our Estate, Trust, and Capacity Litigation team offers a wide range of legal services to help support businesses of all sizes.

Desiree Smith


Desiree Smith is an Associate in our General Litigation group. Before joining Cunningham Swan,

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