Written by attorney Daniel Kenneth Printz

Contents of a California Probate or Trust Accounting

An accounting is a formal declaration of the trust (or estate, if it’s a probate accounting) assets and liabilities, including income and expenses, of a particular period of time. California probate code section 1601 et seq. tells us exactly what an accounting needs to contain. If it does not contain these items, an objection can be filed – contact an attorney to assist you.

Accounting Contents:

(1) The property on hand at the beginning of the period covered by the account, which shall be the value of the property initially received by the fiduciary if this is the first account, and shall be the property on hand at the end of the prior account if this is a subsequent account.

(2) The value of any assets received during the period of the accounting which are not assets on hand as of the commencement of the administration of an estate.

(3) The amount of any receipts of income or principal, excluding items listed under paragraphs (1) and (2) or receipts from a trade or business.

(4) Net income from a trade or business.

(5) Gains on sales.

(6) The amount of disbursements, excluding disbursements for a trade or business or distributions.

(7) Loss on sales.

(8) Net loss from trade or business.

(9) Distributions to beneficiaries, the ward or conservatee.

(10) Property on hand at the end of the accounting period, stated at its carry value.

What should an accounting look like?

SUMMARY OF ACCOUNT CHARGES: Property on hand at beginning of $ ____________ account (or Inventories) Additional property received (or ______________ Supplemental Inventories) Receipts (Schedule ___) ______________ Gains on Sale or Other Disposition ______________ (Schedule ____) Net income from trade or business ______________ (Schedule____) Total Charges: $ ____________ CREDITS: Disbursements (Schedule ____) $ ____________ Losses on Sale or Other Disposition ______________ (Schedule ____) Net loss from trade or business ______________ (Schedule ___) Distributions (Schedule ___) ______________ Property on hand at close of account ______________ (Schedule ___) Total Credits: $ ____________

Total charges should equal total credits.

What schedules does the summary of the accounting need?

(a) Receipts, showing the nature or purpose of each item, the source of the receipt, and the date thereof. (b) Disbursement, including the nature or purpose of each item, the name of the payee, and the date thereof. (c) Net income or loss from a trade or business, which shall be sufficient if it provides the information disclosed on Schedule C or F of the federal income tax return. (d) Calculation of gains or losses on sale or other disposition. (e) Distributions of cash or property to beneficiaries, ward or conservatee, showing the date and amount of each, with the distribution of property shown at its carry value. (f) Itemized list of property on hand, describing each item at its carry value.

If the trustee has not produced something that looks like this – there is only a short period of time to object! Contact a trust administration attorney as soon as possible.

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