April 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

Remember that every pleading in an estate, guardianship and conservatorship must be signed by the fiduciary, and not the attorney or anyone else. And that includes “accounts and reports.” That’s what UCCR 6.13 expressly states.

In your mad frenzy to avoid a show-cause order, it sometimes seems expedient to bypass that sluggish fiduciary altogether and just do it yourself, but if you sign that motion, or that account, or that inventory, you have really accomplished nothing. It’s the fiduciary who is on the line, and her name needs to be on the dotted line.

And, although it is the fiduciary’s account, strictly speaking, you stand to suffer the slings and arrows of  outrageous fortune yourself if the case is delinquent. UCCR 6.17 says, “If, without cause, an attorney fails to file accountings or other matters in probate cases … after being so directed in writing by the Court, the Court may consider such misconduct as contempt.”

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  • Joe says:

    Hi Larry,

    I noticed that UCCR 6.13 doesn’t by its express language forbid the attorney from signing the pleading, only that such pleadings be personally signed and sworn to by the fiduciary. My concern is the interplay between this rule and MRCP 11(a)’s requirement that “[e]very pleading or motion of a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in that attorney’s individual name, whose address shall be stated.” If an attorney represents the fiduciary, it would seem that the attorney must sign the pleading as well.


    • Larry says:

      The accounting is actually the fiduciary’s report to the court. Without looking back at the UCCR, it would seem to me that both should sign.

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