Passings of Accounts and Serving the Public Guardian and Trustee
The Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) is often appointed to review accounts where they are submitted to the court for approval by guardians of property, attorneys and estate trustees. I recently happened across Richard Coutinho’s paper on the involvement of the PGT in passings of accounts. While he addresses varying aspects of this topic, for today’s blog I review the issue of service on the PGT, in respect of which the rules are sometimes unclear.
Mr. Coutinho reminds us that the PGT should be served with an application to pass accounts and other required material in the following circumstances:
- When the PGT represents a person with an interest in the estate;
- When there is a charitable beneficiary of the estate or trust (pursuant to ss. 49(8) of the Estates Act); and
- When the PGT is acting on behalf of parties under disability when their guardians/attorneys apply to pass their accounts, unless a close relative or other suitable person would agree to act as litigation guardian in priority to the PGT.
The paper also clarifies for us when the PGT does not get involved in a passing of accounts. Some examples provided of when the PGT does not need to be served are:
- When a guardian of property has been replaced, and the former guardian is applying to pass accounts – this is because the new guardian can review the accounts;
- When the attorney for property is applying to pass accounts and the grantor of the Power of Attorney is not incapable;
- When the incapable person has died – that person’s estate trustee (unless the estate trustee is the PGT) can review the accounts;
- When the accounts are served in draft form – the PGT can only review a formal application to pass accounts; and
- When the PGT has a conflict of interest (e.g. when there are two incapable beneficiaries and the PGT is the guardian of property of only one of them).
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!