By: Justin M. Smigelsky, Esq.
A fiduciary’s administration of an estate or trust may be concluded with or without judicial approval. In regards to informal accountings, where all interested parties agree to the accounting and execute a Refunding Bond and Release, the fiduciary will not be required to settle his account via court action. In many instances, however, a person in interest may file a complaint upon an order to show cause to compel the fiduciary to settle his account or, as is sometimes necessary, a fiduciary may seek judicial approval of his account as permitted by statute
As indicated above, actions to settle an account are commenced by filing a complaint and the issuance of an order to show cause in the Chancery Division – Probate Part of the Superior Court. The action must be brought in the county where the fiduciary received his or her appointment. Pursuant to the New Jersey Rules of Court, the complaint must contain the names and addresses of all persons interested in the account, including any surety, must be properly served upon all interested parties, and must state and seek allowance for the amount of fiduciary commission and attorney’s fee being applied for.
In all actions for the settlement of accounts, interested parties have the opportunity to serve the accountant with written exceptions to any item in or omission from the account, including any exceptions to the commissions or attorney’s fees requested. The exceptions must state specifically the item or omission excepted to, the modification sought in the account, and the reason for the modification. Exceptions which are not stricken because of insufficiency in law must be adjudicated upon an evidentiary hearing unless no factual dispute exists.
Because estate and trust administration and litigation requires specialized knowledge, you may wish to consult with an experienced attorney if you are either a fiduciary or beneficiary of an estate or trust. Specifically, you may wish to contact an attorney if you have questions regarding the probate process, administration of an estate or trust, fiduciary obligations, preparation of a formal or informal accounting, refunding bonds and releases, and the procedures for filing a formal accounting or exceptions thereto. This article is for information purposes only, and is neither legal advice nor the creation of an attorney client relationship.
Justin M. Smigelsky, Esq. / Timothy J. Little, P.C. – All Rights Reserved
Attorneys in Woodbridge, New Jersey representing clients throughout Middlesex County (Old Bridge, Woodbridge, Sayreville, East Brunswick, Spotswood, Perth Amboy, Dunellen, Colonia, Sewaren, Iselin, Avenel, Fords, Keasbey, Menlo Park, Port Reading, South Amboy, Monroe, Edison, Carteret, Cranbury, Helmetta, South River, Milltown, Highland Park, Jamesburg, Laurence Harbor), Monmouth County, Union County, Ocean County, Somerset County, and Burlington County.