How to prepare an account
If you have been appointed as a special conservator or conservator for an adult, you have specific obligations regarding the handling of the estate assets.
Every year, within 56 days after the date of your appointment, an Account of Fiduciary form must be filed with the court. The account must reflect the income received by the estate, all expenses and disbursements made as well as assets remaining.
Here is an example accounting spreadsheet which may help you in gathering and tracking the required information to fill out the Account of Fiduciary form.
Please be aware of the FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
- The maximum accounting period is 12 months (from the date your Letters of Authority are issued);
- The beginning, or start figure, for the first account is the inventory balance; subsequent accounts start with the ending balance from the prior account;
- Recurring receipts and expenses should be grouped by category, i.e., Social Security total income, pension total income, nursing home costs, utilities, etc.;
- Income, expenses/disbursements indicated on the account must be verified by the court analyst. Canceled checks or paid receipts are acceptable. Notations made on statements, check registers, etc., are NOT proof of payment.
- Copies of canceled checks will be accepted as will duplicate checks and carbon copy checks if they can be cross-referenced to the bank statements;
- You must organize and present your disbursement receipts to the analyst by category as indicated in your account, i.e., if your account indicates “Medical - $5,000” you must provide receipts/checks totaling $5,000. If your bank statement lists payees, you may color code your 12 bank statements (highlight all “medical” charges in yellow, utilities in blue, etc.).
- Disbursements listed as “cash” will not be allowed unless receipts are provided;
- The beginning balance, plus income, less expenses, must equal the total of assets remaining;
- Assets remaining must be verified by either a copy of the financial institution’s statement or a Verification of Funds form completed by the financial institution.
- Values for real estate, personal items, vehicles, etc., may retain their inventory value unless the asset is no longer in the estate; and,
- If there are co-fiduciaries, they must all sign the Account form.
As a fiduciary, you may be personally liable for an unsubstantiated or improper expenditures. You are not allowed to make a loan to yourself or other parties without prior written court approval.
Accounts in adult conservatorships must be scheduled for hearing. A copy of the Account and Notice of Hearing must be served upon the interested parties, including the adult ward. A hearing date will be set at the time the account is accepted for filed and the $20 fee is paid.
Service of the Notice of Hearing and the Account on the interested parties must be completed at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the hearing if mailed, or at least seven (7) days in advance of the hearing if the documents are personally served. A Waiver/Consent form signed by the adult ward will NOT be accepted.
On the hearing date, you must provide the completed Proof of Service form and an Order Allowing Account form.