State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > California > Prob > 2620-2628

PROBATE CODE
SECTION 2620-2628



2620.  (a) At the expiration of one year from the time of
appointment and thereafter not less frequently than biennially,
unless otherwise ordered by the court to be more frequent, the
guardian or conservator shall present the accounting of the assets of
the estate of the ward or conservatee to the court for settlement
and allowance in the manner provided in Chapter 4 (commencing with
Section 1060) of Part 1 of Division 3. By January 1, 2008, the
Judicial Council, in consultation with the California Judges
Association, the California Association of Superior Court
Investigators, the California State Association of Public
Administrators, Public Guardians, and Public Conservators, the State
Bar of California, and the California Society of Certified Public
Accountants, shall develop a standard accounting form, a simplified
accounting form, and rules for when the simplified accounting form
may be used. After January 1, 2008, all accountings submitted
pursuant to this section shall be submitted on the Judicial Council
form.
   (b) The final court accounting of the guardian or conservator
following the death of the ward or conservatee shall include a court
accounting for the period that ended on the date of death and a
separate accounting for the period subsequent to the date of death.
   (c) Along with each court accounting, the guardian or conservator
shall file supporting documents, as provided in this section.
   (1) For purposes of this subdivision, the term "account statement"
shall include any original account statement from any institution,
as defined in Section 2890, or any financial institution, as defined
in Section 2892, in which money or other assets of the estate are
held or deposited.
   (2) The filing shall include all account statements showing the
account balance as of the closing date of the accounting period of
the court accounting. If the court accounting is the first court
accounting of the guardianship or conservatorship, the guardian or
conservator shall provide to the court all account statements showing
the account balance immediately preceding the date the conservator
or guardian was appointed and all account statements showing the
account balance as of the closing date of the first court accounting.
   (3) If the guardian or conservator is a private professional or
licensed guardian or conservator, the guardian or conservator shall
also file all original account statements, as described above,
showing the balance as of all periods covered by the accounting.
   (4) The filing shall include the original closing escrow statement
received showing the charges and credits for any sale of real
property of the estate.
   (5) If the ward or conservatee is in a residential care facility
or a long-term care facility, the filing shall include the original
bill statements for the facility.
   (6) This subdivision shall not apply to the public guardian if the
money belonging to the estate is pooled with money belonging to
other estates pursuant to Section 2940 and Article 3 (commencing with
Section 7640) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 7. Nothing in this
section shall affect any other duty or responsibility of the public
guardian with regard to managing money belonging to the estate or
filing accountings with the court.
   (7) If any document to be filed or lodged with the court under
this section contains the ward's or conservatee's social security
number or any other personal information regarding the ward or
conservatee that would not ordinarily be disclosed in a court
accounting, an inventory and appraisal, or other nonconfidential
pleadings filed in the action, the account statement or other
document shall be attached to a separate affidavit describing the
character of the document, captioned "CONFIDENTIAL FINANCIAL
STATEMENT" in capital letters. Except as otherwise ordered by the
court, the clerk of the court shall keep the document confidential
except to the court and subject to disclosure only upon an order of
the court. The guardian or conservator may redact the ward's or
conservatee's social security number from any document lodged with
the court under this section.
   (8) Courts may provide by local rule that the court shall retain
all documents lodged with it under this subdivision until the court's
determination of the guardian's or conservator's account has become
final, at which time the supporting documents shall be returned to
the depositing guardian or conservator or delivered to any successor
appointed by the court.
   (d) Each accounting is subject to random or discretionary, full or
partial review by the court. The review may include consideration of
any information necessary to determine the accuracy of the
accounting. If the accounting has any material error, the court shall
make an express finding as to the severity of the error and what
further action is appropriate in response to the error, if any. Among
the actions available to the court is immediate suspension of the
guardian or conservator without further notice or proceedings and
appointment of a temporary guardian or conservator or removal of the
guardian or conservator pursuant to Section 2650 and appointment of a
temporary guardian or conservator.
   (e) The guardian or conservator shall make available for
inspection and copying, upon reasonable notice, to any person
designated by the court to verify the accuracy of the accounting, all
books and records, including receipts for any expenditures, of the
guardianship or conservatorship.



2620.1.  The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 2009, develop
guidelines to assist investigators and examiners in reviewing
accountings and detecting fraud.



2620.2.  (a) Whenever the conservator or guardian has failed to file
an accounting as required by Section 2620, the court shall require
that written notice be given to the conservator or guardian and the
attorney of record for the conservatorship or guardianship directing
the conservator or guardian to file an accounting and to set the
accounting for hearing before the court within 30 days of the date of
the notice or, if the conservator or guardian is a public agency,
within 45 days of the date of the notice. The court may, upon cause
shown, grant an additional 30 days to file the accounting.
   (b) Failure to file the accounting within the time specified under
subdivision (a), or within 45 days of actual receipt of the notice,
whichever is later, shall constitute a contempt of the authority of
the court as described in Section 1209 of the Code of Civil
Procedure.
   (c) If the conservator or guardian does not file an accounting
with all appropriate supporting documentation and set the accounting
for hearing as required by Section 2620, the court shall do one or
more of the following and shall report that action to the bureau
established pursuant to Section 6510 of the Business and Professions
Code:
   (1) Remove the conservator or guardian as provided under Article 1
(commencing with Section 2650) of Chapter 9 of Part 4 of Division 4.
   (2) Issue and serve a citation requiring a guardian or conservator
who does not file a required accounting to appear and show cause why
the guardian or conservator should not be punished for contempt. If
the guardian or conservator purposely evades personal service of the
citation, the guardian or conservator shall be immediately removed
from office.
   (3) Suspend the powers of the conservator or guardian and appoint
a temporary conservator or guardian, who shall take possession of the
assets of the conservatorship or guardianship, investigate the
actions of the conservator or guardian, and petition for surcharge if
this is in the best interests of the ward or conservatee.
Compensation for the temporary conservator or guardian, and counsel
for the temporary conservator or guardian, shall be treated as a
surcharge against the conservator or guardian, and if unpaid shall be
considered a breach of condition of the bond.
   (4) (A) Appoint legal counsel to represent the ward or conservatee
if the court has not suspended the powers of the conservator or
guardian and appoint a temporary conservator or guardian pursuant to
paragraph (3). Compensation for the counsel appointed for the ward or
conservatee shall be treated as a surcharge against the conservator
or guardian, and if unpaid shall be considered a breach of a
condition on the bond, unless for good cause shown the court finds
that counsel for the ward or conservatee shall be compensated
according to Section 1470. The court shall order the legal counsel to
do one or more of the following:
   (i) Investigate the actions of the conservator or guardian, and
petition for surcharge if this is in the best interests of the ward
or conservatee.
   (ii) Recommend to the court whether the conservator or guardian
should be removed.
   (iii) Recommend to the court whether money or other property in
the estate should be deposited pursuant to Section 2453, 2453.5,
2454, or 2455, to be subject to withdrawal only upon authorization of
the court.
   (B) After resolution of the matters for which legal counsel was
appointed in subparagraph (A), the court shall terminate the
appointment of legal counsel, unless the court determines that
continued representation of the ward or conservatee and the estate is
necessary and reasonable.
   (5) If the conservator or guardian is exempt from the licensure
requirements of Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division
3 of the Business and Professions Code, upon ex parte application or
any notice as the court may require, extend the time to file the
accounting, not to exceed an additional 30 days after the expiration
of the deadline described in subdivision (a), where the court finds
there is good cause and that the estate is adequately bonded. After
expiration of any extensions, if the accounting has not been filed,
the court shall take action as described in paragraphs (1) to (3),
inclusive.
   (d) Subdivision (c) does not preclude the court from additionally
taking any other appropriate action in response to a failure to file
a proper accounting in a timely manner.



2621.  Notice of the hearing on the account of the guardian or
conservator shall be given for the period and in the manner provided
in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1460) of Part 1. If notice is
required to be given to the Director of Mental Health or the Director
of Developmental Services under Section 1461, the account shall not
be settled or allowed unless notice has been given as provided in
Section 1461.



2622.  The ward or conservatee, the spouse of the ward or the spouse
or domestic partner of the conservatee, any relative or friend of
the ward or conservatee, or any creditor or other interested person
may file written objections to the account of the guardian or
conservator, stating the items of the account to which objection is
made and the basis for the objection.



2622.5.  (a) If the court determines that the objections were
without reasonable cause and in bad faith, the court may order the
objector to pay the compensation and costs of the conservator or
guardian and other expenses and costs of litigation, including
attorney's fees, incurred to defend the account. The objector shall
be personally liable to the guardianship or conservatorship estate
for the amount ordered.
   (b) If the court determines that the opposition to the objections
was without reasonable cause and in bad faith, the court may award
the objector the costs of the objector and other expenses and costs
of litigation, including attorney's fees, incurred to contest the
account. The amount awarded is a charge against the compensation of
the guardian or conservator, and the guardian or conservator is
liable personally and on the bond, if any, for any amount that
remains unsatisfied.



2623.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b) of this section,
the guardian or conservator shall be allowed all of the following:
   (1) The amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in the exercise
of the powers and the performance of the duties of the guardian or
conservator (including, but not limited to, the cost of any surety
bond furnished, reasonable attorney's fees, and such compensation for
services rendered by the guardian or conservator of the person as
the court determines is just and reasonable).
   (2) Such compensation for services rendered by the guardian or
conservator as the court determines is just and reasonable.
   (3) All reasonable disbursements made before appointment as
guardian or conservator.
   (4) In the case of termination other than by the death of the ward
or conservatee, all reasonable disbursements made after the
termination of the guardianship or conservatorship but prior to the
discharge of the guardian or conservator by the court.
   (5) In the case of termination by the death of the ward or
conservatee, all reasonable expenses incurred prior to the discharge
of the guardian or conservator by the court for the custody and
conservation of the estate and its delivery to the personal
representative of the estate of the deceased ward or conservatee or
in making other disposition of the estate as provided for by law.
   (b) The guardian or conservator shall not be compensated from the
estate for any costs or fees that the guardian or conservator
incurred in unsuccessfully opposing a petition, or other request or
action, made by or on behalf of the ward or conservatee, unless the
court determines that the opposition was made in good faith, based on
the best interests of the ward or conservatee.


2625.  Any sale or purchase of property or other transaction not
previously authorized, approved, or confirmed by the court is subject
to review by the court upon the next succeeding account of the
guardian or conservator occurring after the transaction. Upon such
account and review, the court may hold the guardian or conservator
liable for any violation of duties in connection with the sale,
purchase, or other transaction. Nothing in this section shall be
construed to affect the validity of any sale or purchase or other
transaction.


2626.  If it appears upon the settlement of any account that the
estate has been entirely exhausted through expenditures or
disbursements which are approved by the court, the court, upon
settlement of the account, shall order the proceeding terminated and
the guardian or conservator forthwith discharged unless the court
determines that there is reason to continue the proceeding.



2627.  (a) After a ward has reached majority, the ward may settle
accounts with the guardian and give the guardian a release which is
valid if obtained fairly and without undue influence.
   (b) Except as otherwise provided by this code, a guardian is not
entitled to a discharge until one year after the ward has attained
majority.



2628.  (a) The court may make an order that the guardian or
conservator need not present the accounts otherwise required by this
chapter so long as all of the following conditions are satisfied:
   (1) The estate at the beginning and end of the accounting period
for which an account is otherwise required consisted of property,
exclusive of the residence of the ward or conservatee, of a total net
value of less than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).
   (2) The income of the estate for each month of the accounting
period, exclusive of public benefit payments, was less than two
thousand dollars ($2,000).
   (3) All income of the estate during the accounting period, if not
retained, was spent for the benefit of the ward or conservatee.
   (b) Notwithstanding that the court has made an order under
subdivision (a), the ward or conservatee or any interested person may
petition the court for an order requiring the guardian or
conservator to present an account as otherwise required by this
chapter or the court on its own motion may make that an order. An
order under this subdivision may be made ex parte or on such notice
of hearing as the court in its discretion requires.
   (c) For any accounting period during which all of the conditions
of subdivision (a) are not satisfied, the guardian or conservator
shall present the account as otherwise required by this chapter.