Manual for Commissioners of Accounts

Manual for Commissioners of Accounts
Publication Date: 2019
Electronic Forms: 42
Available Formats: Print (544 pages, looseleaf, 1 volume)
  Electronic (searchable PDF via flash drive, CD, or immediate download)
  Both Print and Electronic formats
Product #: 872

Information

Content Highlights:
  • Jurisdiction of Commissioners
  • The Inventory
  • Posting of Accounts
  • Account Audits
  • Estates of Decedents Checklist
  • Principal and Income
  • Guardians/Conservators of Incapacitated Adults
  • Guardians of Minors
  • Audits of Testamentary Trusts
  • Delinquent Fiduciaries
  • Hearings Before Commissioners
  • Deeds of Trust
  • Judicial Appointments and Oversight
  • Guidelines for Fiduciary Compensation

"The Standing Committee on Commissioners of Accounts of the Judicial Council of Virginia first published this manual in 1995 with the goal of standardizing and making publically known some of the common practices followed by commissioners of accounts in the supervision of administration of the various estates requiring qualification before the clerks of the circuit courts. It is the commissioner’s 'bible,' and familiarity with and adoption of the recommendations contained in the Manual will simplify your dealings with the commissioner’s office and avoid needless problems." - Edwin A. Bischoff, Commissioner of Accounts, Circuit Court of Henrico County, Virginia

This newly revised edition is a collaborative effort of commissioners, judges, attorneys, court personnel, and others and contains the current law and suggested practices for commissioners, attorneys and accountants, and others administering estates and preparing inventories and accounts for the various types of estates. It is a window into the commissioner’s office that will save countless hours in the preparation, submission, and approval of inventories and accounts. It an indispensable part of any law practice involving probate of estates, guardians and conservators, administration of trusts, or foreclosure under a deed of trust.

The Manual for Commissioners of Accounts also includes 42 electronic forms in Word format developed over time by commissioners. In addition, the manual sets out the official court forms for fiduciaries, as well as instructions for filling out these forms and samples of completed forms.

The 2019 edition addresses the many legislative changes since the 2014 edition, including augmented estates and elective shares, nonexoneration of debts, trust decanting, and foreclosure sales. It includes the Uniform Fee Schedule Guidelines for Commissioners of Accounts, which was updated in 2017.

The 2019 print edition is in a looseleaf format, with tabs for convenient reference.

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Table of Contents

CHAPTER LIST

1. Purposes of Manual and Statutory Authorization and Jurisdiction of Commissioners of Accounts

2. Judicial Appointment and Oversight of Commissioners of Accounts

3. Complaints Against Commissioners

4. Record Keeping and File Maintenance

5. Access to Files of Commissioners

6. Adequacy of the Fiduciary's Bond

7. The Inventory

8. Posting of Accounts: Notice to Interested Parties

9. The Account Audit

10. The Voucher and Other Supporting Documents

11. Estates of Decedents: A Checklist of Duties of the Commissioner

12. Creditors and Claims Against the Estate

13. Auditing Accounts of Trustees of Testamentary Trusts

14. Guardians/Conservators of Incapacitated Adults

15. Guardians of Minors' Estates

16. Account of Foreclosure Sale

17. Proceedings Against Delinquent Fiduciaries

18. Hearings Before Commissioners of Accounts

19. Miscellaneous Matters

20. Fees Allowed the Commissioner of Accounts

21. Guidelines for Fiduciary Compensation


CHAPTER 1: PURPOSES OF MANUAL AND STATUTORY
AUTHORIZATION AND JURISDICTION OF
COMMISSIONERS OF ACCOUNTS


1.1 IN GENERAL

1.2 SUMMARY OF STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION AND JURISDICTION
OF COMMISSIONERS OF ACCOUNTS
        1.201 Introduction
        1.202 Foreword
        1.203 Summaries of Statutes

CHAPTER 2: JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT AND OVERSIGHT OF
COMMISSIONERS OF ACCOUNTS


2.1 INTRODUCTION

2.2 APPOINTMENT PROCEDURES
        2.201 Preliminary Considerations of the Office of Commissioners of
        Accounts
        2.202 Job Description and Qualities to Consider in Prospective
        Appointees
        2.203 Appointment Procedure
        2.204 Assistant/Deputy Commissioners of Accounts: Appointment
        and Relationships

2.3 SUPERVISION
        2.301 Review of Timeliness of Fiduciaries’ Work
        2.302 Timeliness of the Commissioner’s Work
        2.303 Evaluation of the Commissioner’s Continuing Commitment to
        the Office
        2.304 The Commissioner’s Relationships with the Public, the Bar
        and Court Personnel

2.4 THE COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE

2.5 CONCLUSION

CHAPTER 3: COMPLAINTS AGAINST COMMISSIONERS

CHAPTER 4: RECORD KEEPING AND FILE MAINTENANCE

4.1 IN GENERAL

4.2 METHODS FOR KEEPING THE RECORD OF FIDUCIARIES

4.3 PRACTICE

CHAPTER 5: ACCESS TO FILES OF COMMISSIONERS

5.1 IN GENERAL
        5.101 Nature of the Office of Commissioner of Accounts
        5.102 Applicability of FOIA to the Court and Its Records

5.2 RECORDS THAT ARE NOT “PUBLIC RECORDS”

5.3 PROTECTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION IN COURT
FILES

5.4 REVIEW BY INTERESTED PARTIES

CHAPTER 6: ADEQUACY OF THE FIDUCIARY’S BOND

6.1 IN GENERAL

6.2 NONRESIDENT FIDUCIARIES

6.3 ADEQUACY OF PENALTY ON BOND

6.4 REDUCTION OF PENALTY ON BOND

6.5 FAILURE OF FIDUCIARY TO POST NEW BOND

CHAPTER 7: THE INVENTORY

7.1 IN GENERAL
        7.101 Forms
        7.102 When Inventories Not Required
        7.103 Furnishing Copies of Inventories
        7.104 Enforcement of Filing Requirement
        7.105 Affidavit of Notice of Probate; Enforcement

7.2 DECEDENTS’ ESTATES
        7.201 Instructions Generally
        7.202 Specific Instructions
        7.203 Assets That Do Not Exceed $25,000
        7.204 Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act

7.3 TIMELINESS

7.4 VALUATION

7.5 INCAPACITATED ADULTS
        7.501 Instructions Generally
        7.502 Specific Instructions

7.6 MINORS
        7.601 Instructions Generally
        7.602 Specific Instructions

7.7 TESTAMENTARY AND INTER VIVOS TRUSTEES AND OTHERS
        7.701 Minor’s Tort Claims Recoveries
        7.702 Trustees for Incapacitated Veterans
        7.703 Instructions Generally
        7.704 Specific Instructions

7.8 OBJECTIONS TO INVENTORIES
        7.801 Enforcement Authority
        7.802 Unresolved Objections

CHAPTER 8: POSTING OF ACCOUNTS; NOTICE TO INTERESTED
PARTIES


8.1 IN GENERAL

8.2 DECEDENTS’ ESTATES

8.3 OTHER FIDUCIARY ESTATES

CHAPTER 9: THE ACCOUNT AUDIT

9.1 IN GENERAL

9.2 GUIDELINES FOR ACCOUNTS
        9.201 Format of Account
        9.202 Time for Processing
        9.203 Fee Quotes and Commissions
        9.204 Debts and Demands
        9.205 Vouchers (Documents) to Be Submitted to Support an Account
    
9.3 AUDITOR’S REVIEW

CHAPTER 10: THE VOUCHER AND OTHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

10.1 VOUCHERS GENERALLY

10.2 TYPES OF VOUCHERS
        10.201 Receipts and Copies of Cancelled Checks for Payment of Debts
        10.202 Receipts for Tangible Personal Property
        10.203 Other Supporting Documents

CHAPTER 11: ESTATES OF DECEDENTS: A CHECKLIST OF DUTIES
OF THE COMMISSIONER


11.1 IN GENERAL

11.2 PROTECTION OF BENEFICIARIES
        11.201 Investment of Cash
        11.202 Debts Paid Those of Decedent
        11.203 Funeral Expenses
        11.204 Fiduciary Compensation and Attorneys’ Fees
        11.205 Interest on Bequests
        11.206 Interest on Accounts and Debt Instruments Specifically
        Bequeathed
        11.207 Dividends on Stock Bequeathed
        11.208 Distribution to a Minor
        11.209 Distribution to Other Persons Non Sui Juris
        11.210 Distribution to Person Deceased
        11.211 Ademption
        11.212 Abatement
        11.213 Distribution to a Trust
        11.214 Improper By-Pass Distributions From the Estate to
        Beneficiaries of Trust Under Agreement
        11.215 Payment of Estate Taxes or Debts by Trust
        11.216 Allocation of Estate Taxes
        11.217 Partial Distributions
        11.218 The Omitted Spouse
        11.219 The Augmented Estate
        11.220 Family Allowance, Exempt Property, and Homestead
        11.221 What to Do with the Personal Representative Who Will Not
        Settle His or Her Account
        11.222 Statement in Lieu of Account
        11.223 Enforcement of Notice Requirement in Va. Code § 64.2-508............ 113
        11.224 Additional Duties of Commissioner Under Va. Code § 64.2-508
        11.225 Furnishing Inventories and Accounts; Delay in Approval of
        Same (Va. Code § 64.2-1303)
        11.226 Nonexoneration (Va. Code § 64.2-531)
        11.227 Sale of Real Property to Pay Estate Obligations or Legacies
        11.228 Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act

11.3 TAXING AUTHORITIES

11.4 THE ACCOUNT AS A PERMANENT RECORD

CHAPTER 12: CREDITORS AND CLAIMS AGAINST THE ESTATE

12.1 IN GENERAL

12.2 FILING OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE ESTATE

12.3 DEBTS AND DEMANDS HEARING

12.4 WHEN CREDITORS’ CLAIMS SHOULD NOT BE PAID
        12.401 Expired Statutes of Limitations
        12.402 Insolvent Estates

12.5 CONTINGENT AND UNLIQUIDATED CLAIMS

12.6 CONTESTED CLAIMS

12.7 STATUTORY EXEMPTIONS AND ALLOWANCES

12.8 STATUTES OF LIMITATION

12.9 SPECIFIC STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS

CHAPTER 13: AUDITING ACCOUNTS OF TRUSTEES OF
TESTAMENTARY TRUSTS


13.1 IN GENERAL

13.2 PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENTS

13.3 DISTRIBUTIONS FROM ESTATE TO TRUST

13.4 RECEIPTS, GAINS AND LOSSES ON ASSET SALES AND
DISBURSEMENTS

13.5 TRUSTEE’S FEES

13.6 ALLOCATION OF PRINCIPAL AND INCOME
        13.601 In General
        13.602 Receipts Not Requiring Apportionment
        13.603 Disbursements Not Requiring Apportionment
        13.604 Receipts/Disbursements Requiring Apportionment
        13.605 Uniform Principal and Income Act (1997)—Prefatory Note,
        Official Text, and Commissioners’ Comments
        13.606 Equitable Adjustment

13.7 DISTRIBUTIONS TO BENEFICIARIES

13.8 WAIVER OF TESTAMENTARY TRUST ACCOUNTINGS

13.9 UNIFORM TRUST CODE

13.10 TRUST DECANTING UNDER THE VIRGINIA UNIFORM TRUST
DECANTING ACT

CHAPTER 14: GUARDIANS/CONSERVATORS OF INCAPACITATED
ADULTS


14.1 INTRODUCTION

14.2 ALLOWABLE EXPENDITURES

14.3 COMPENSATION FOR CONSERVATORS AND GUARDIANS
        14.301 Conservator
        14.302 Guardian of the Person of an Incapacitated Adult

14.4 ACCOUNTS AND ACCOUNTING PERIODS

14.5 INVESTMENTS AND THE SALE OF REAL ESTATE

14.6 SURETY BOND COVERAGE

14.7 TERMINATION OF GUARDIANSHIP AND/OR CONSERVATORSHIP

14.8 MEDICAID CONSERVATORSHIPS

14.9 “REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE” BENEFITS
        14.901 Is There a Need for Qualification as a Conservator for
        Representative Payee Benefits?
        14.902 Accounting for Representative Payee Benefits by a
        Conservator Appointed by the Court

14.10 PROBLEM AREAS
        14.1001 Joint Accounts
        14.1002 Furniture and Furnishings
        14.1003 Jewelry
        14.1004 Real Estate

14.11 CONVERSION OF CONSERVATORSHIP TO CUSTODIAL TRUSTEE

14.12 COURT-APPROVED TRANSFER TO SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST

14.13 FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF INCAPACITATED PERSONS

CHAPTER 15: GUARDIANS OF MINORS’ ESTATES

15.1 INTRODUCTION

15.2 DISBURSEMENTS OF PRINCIPAL AND INCOME

15.3 DISTRIBUTIONS TO OR FOR MINOR WITH LIVING PARENT
        15.301 Distributions Authorized by Court
        15.302 Distributions Authorized by Commissioner of Accounts

15.4 COMPENSATION FOR GUARDIAN

15.5 INVENTORY, ACCOUNTINGS, AND ACCOUNTING PERIODS

15.6 INVESTMENTS

15.7 SURETY BOND COVERAGE

CHAPTER 16: ACCOUNT OF FORECLOSURE SALE

16.1 IN GENERAL

16.2 FORM FOR ACCOUNTING

16.3 PAPERS TO ACCOMPANY THE ACCOUNT

16.4 BID PRICE

16.5 TRUSTEE’S COMMISSION
        16.501 Statutory Commission
        16.502 Background
        16.503 Cases and Orders

16.6 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES
        16.601 Clerk’s Fee and Recording Costs
        16.602 Auctioneer’s Fee
        16.603 Attorney’s Fees
        16.604 Fee to Commissioner
        16.605 Interest

16.7 REAL ESTATE TAXES AND OTHER CITY OR COUNTY LIENS

16.8 SUBSTITUTION OF TRUSTEE

16.9 ADVERTISEMENT AND NOTICES

16.10 DISTRIBUTION OF BALANCE AFTER PAYMENT OF EXPENSES
OF SALE; SURPLUS
        16.1001 Payment of Other Liens
        16.1002 Credit Bids
        16.1003 Payments to Noteholder; Surplus
        16.1004 Death of Grantor or Successors in Title Prior to Foreclosure

16.11 THE NOTE

16.12 ASSIGNMENT OF NOTE

16.13 POSTING AND REPORT TO COURT

16.14 OVERSIGHT OF FORECLOSURE ACCOUNTS

CHAPTER 17: PROCEEDINGS AGAINST DELINQUENT FIDUCIARIES

17.1 DEADLINES
        17.101 Personal Representatives of Estates and Proponents of Wills
        17.102 Personal Representatives of Estates
        17.103 Testamentary Trustee
        17.104 Guardians of Minors’ Estates and Conservators of Incapacitated
        Persons
        17.105 Foreclosure Sale Trustees

17.2 REMINDER NOTICE OF DELINQUENCY

17.3 INITIATING ACTION BY THE COURT
        17.301 Affidavit of Notice
        17.302 Inventories
        17.303 Accountings—Semi-Annual Report or Summons Under
        Section 64.2-1216
        17.304 Foreclosure Accountings
        17.305 Reporting Attorney Fiduciaries to the State Bar
        17.306 The Quarterly Report

17.4 PERSONAL ASSESSMENTS TO FIDUCIARY

17.5 FORFEITURE OF COMMISSIONS

17.6 PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COURT

17.7 SURCHARGE OF FIDUCIARIES

CHAPTER 18: HEARINGS BEFORE COMMISSIONERS OF ACCOUNTS

18.1 IN GENERAL

18.2 CONDUCT OF THE HEARING

18.3 STATUTORY HEARINGS
        18.301 Debts and Demands Hearings
        18.302 Hearings Pursuant to Va. Code § 64.2-1209
        18.303 Hearings Pursuant to Va. Code § 64.2-1204
        18.304 Guardianship Parental Spending Hearings
        18.305 Hearings Concerning Conservatorship and Guardianship
        Real Estate Sales

CHAPTER 19: MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS

19.1 THE COMMISSIONER’S REPORT ON AN INVENTORY OR
ACCOUNT

19.2 PROCEDURE ON EXCEPTIONS

19.3 WHEN THE COMMISSIONER SHOULD DISQUALIFY HIMSELF
OR HERSELF

19.4 IMMUNITY OF THE COMMISSIONER

19.5 HEARINGS

19.6 THE COMMISSIONER’S ROLE WHEN AN AUGMENTED ESTATE
ELECTION IS MADE

19.7 THE LENGTH OF TIME AN ESTATE MUST REMAIN OPEN

19.8 PAYMENT OF FUNDS INTO COURT WHEN PARTY ENTITLED
THERETO CANNOT BE FOUND

19.9 RESIGNATION OR DEATH OF A FIDUCIARY
        19.901 In General
        19.902 Resignation of a Fiduciary
        19.903 Death of a Fiduciary

19.10 WRITINGS INTENDED AS WILLS AND REFORMATION OF WILLS

CHAPTER 20: FEES ALLOWED THE COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS

20.1 STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR FEES

20.2 SOURCE AND PURPOSE OF COMMISSIONERS’ FEES

20.3 RECOMMENDED UNIFORM FEE SCHEDULE GUIDELINES FOR
COMMISSIONERS OF ACCOUNTS

CHAPTER 21: GUIDELINES FOR FIDUCIARY COMPENSATION

21.1 INTRODUCTION

APPENDIX OF CIRCUIT COURT FIDUCIARY FORMS

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

INDEX


Authors

Standing Committee Members 2018

Edwin A. Bischoff, Esquire, Chair, Commissioner of Accounts

Stuart W. Blain, President, Trust Division, Union Bank

Scott A. Butler, Esquire

Eric D. Chason, Professor, College of William & Mary

Jeannie P. Dahnk, Esquire, Commissioner of Accounts

H. Michael Deneka, Esquire

B. Cullen Gibson, Esquire, Commissioner of Accounts

The Honorable Mary Jane Hall, Judge

The Honorable Catherine C. Hammond, Judge (retired)

Robert E. Hawthorne, Esquire

Leighton S. Houck, Esquire. Commissioner of Accounts

The Honorable Tommy L. Moore, Clerk of Botetourt Circuit Court

Elizabeth C. Morrogh, Esquire

John H. Rust, Jr., Esquire, Commissioner of Accounts

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