The personal representative’s duty to account to those interested in an estate is central to that role, yet it is often poorly understood. This paper examines that duty to account so that lawyers can better prepare personal representatives for their role. It discusses forms of accounts, and provides examples of disbursements and receipts of capital and income. It also reviews types of accounting, including informal accounting, formal accounting, and applications to dispense with formal accounting. Additional accounting considerations for personal representatives are also discussed. The paper includes, as appendices, a sample clause for a retainer letter, a sample inventory of property and debts (Schedule 5), and a sample estate accounting financial statement.
This paper is part of a collection presented at LESA’s Estate Administration Fundamentals program held in Edmonton on November 30, 2016 and in Calgary on December 7, 2016.