As Commissioner of Accounts (COA) for the Augusta County Circuit Court and Assistant Commissioner for Staunton, Alan F. Garrison is responsible for overseeing fiduciaries during the administration of an estate. Commissioners maintain their own offices, accounts, and filings, but the fee schedule for Commissioners has been set by the Virginia Judicial Council.
Executors and administrators of decedents’ estates are required by law to file with the Commissioner inventories of assets and statements of accounts detailing their financial activity. The Commissioner then reviews, audits, and approves or declines the filings, which he must report to the court. If these documents are not filed correctly or in a timely manner, he can then enforce the process through issuance of delinquency letters, summonses, reports to the Court, or by requesting a show cause to appear in court for failure to properly administer an estate.
As a public official and quasi-judicial officer for anyone who is managing someone else’s money in his jurisdiction, the Commissioner also assists the court by supervising foreclosing trustees, trustees of testamentary trusts, conservatorships of incapacitated adults and guardianships of the property of minors. Other duties include conducting hearings on creditor claims, determining reasonable compensation for personal representatives, supervising sufficiency of fiduciary bonds, and resolving other issues that arise during the administration of an estate.
Commissioners are not in place to provide individual legal advice, but can assist in understanding a fiduciary’s duties. A list of forms for basic fiduciary filings has been provided. For more information, please contact Alan F. Garrison, Commissioner of Accounts for Augusta County and Assistant Commissioner for Staunton; or his assistant, Emily Elder.