Legal Ethics Opinion #1579
      Trust Accounts: Applicability of Recordkeeping and IOLTA
      Requirements to Attorney Serving as Guardian, Trustee,
      Committee, Executor or Administrator.
        You have presented two hypothetical situations. In the
    first, a Virginia attorney has been appointed by a court of
    competent jurisdiction to serve as guardian, committee, or
    administrator of an estate. In the second, the attorney serves
    as executor or trustee pursuant to a document such as a will
    or trust. In each of these situations, the attorney receives,
    holds, and disburses funds only in her capacity as a fiduciary
    and solely for the benefit of the individual or entity she has
    been appointed or designated to serve. You state that all
    funds passing through the attorney's hands are fiduciary funds
    and, for purposes of this inquiry, attorney fees are not an
      You have asked the committee to opine whether, under the
    facts of the inquiry, a Virginia attorney who maintains
    accounts in his or her capacity as a guardian, trustee,
    committee, executor, or administrator must comply with the
    requirements of  DR:9-102 and 9-103, and the IOLTA
    requirements of Paragraph 20.
      The appropriate and controlling Disciplinary Rules related
    to your inquiry are  DR:9-102(A) which states that all funds
    received or held by a lawyer or law firm on behalf of a
    client, estate or a ward, shall be deposited in one or more
    identifiable bank accounts maintained in the state in which
    the law office is situated and no funds belonging to the
    lawyer or law firm shall be deposited therein except under
    certain enumerated exceptions; and  DR:9-103 which articulates
    the record keeping requirements for client funds.
      The committee is of the opinion that the plain language of 
    DR:9-102(A), as amended effective October 1, 1993, dictates
    that a Virginia attorney, who maintains accounts in his or her
    capacity as guardian, trustee, committee, executor, or
    administrator, must comply with  DRs 9-102 /1 and 9-103.
    Additionally,  DR:9-103(A) (3) states that a subsidiary ledger
    containing a separate account for each client and for every
    other person or entity from whom money has been received in
    trust shall be maintained [emphasis added].
      As to whether an attorney serving in the capacities
    enumerated above must comply with the IOLTA requirements of
    Paragraph 20, that question raises a legal issue the
    resolution of which requires a determination beyond the
    purview of the committee.
      Committee Opinion
      April 11, 1994