Accounts are required to be kept in Ontario for all estates, power-of-attorney matters, and guardianships. The required format is specified by the Rules of Civil Procedure of the Ontario Courts. The accounts need to be passed, that is, audited by the Court, only where a request is made for a formal passing of accounts.
None-the-less, whether a formal passing of accounts is required or expected, detailed accounts should be maintained. In the case of larger estates (say in excess of two million dollars), consideration should be given to the continuous preparation of accounts in the required Court format. This would also be recommended in the case of contentious estates or where there is a possibility that estates may become contentious.
Formal accounts in Court format are also advised for trusts, such as education trusts for minor children or disabled persons.
These are the most basic estate accounting reports that will be required, at a minimum level for all estates. Not all estates have revenue receipts or revenue disbursements. If the estate had only capital transactions these two revenue reports could be omitted.
Statement of Original Assets
Statement of Unrealized Original Assets
Reconciled Transaction Summary
Calculation of Estate Trustee Compensation
Unrealized Original Assets
Unpaid Obligations of the Estate
Estate Trustee Liabilities
For Power of Attorney matters, guardianships, and trusts of various types, the various headings of the reports can be customized as needed in the circumstances. As an example for a Power of Attorney matter, the Calculation of Estate Trustee Calculation report can be re-titled to Calculation of Attorney Compensation.
I personally recommend the use of notes in fiduciary accounting reports. The are so many transactions that simply cannot be recorded in an unambiguous way using the regulated estate accounting framework under the rules of Civil Procedure specifications. To ensure all transactions are clear in substance to the reader the use of notes is essential, Notes can be indicated in the some format as they have traditionally been used in financial accounting (i.e See Note 1 etc...).