Duties and Responsibilities
of Commissioner of Accounts
The Circuit Court appoints the commissioner of accounts to provide general supervision of fiduciaries within the Court’s jurisdiction. See Va. Code § 64.2-1200. The commissioner is charged with the responsibility of supervising the timely and proper filing of fiduciary inventories and accounts by administrators and executors of decedent’s estates, trustees of testamentary trusts and court-ordered trusts, guardians of minors, conservators of incapacitated adults, and foreclosure trustees.
The commissioner’s office audits and approves, if satisfactory, the inventories and accounts required to be filed by the various fiduciaries. The Commissioner has the statutory obligation to enforce the timely filing of the required documents and the authority to issue a summons, subpoena duces tecum, or request a Show Cause Order from the Court to ensure that all fiduciary obligations are satisfied. See Va. Code § 64.2-1203.
Judge Lamb described the commissioner of accounts eloquently, stating
“If the probate courts are ”the courts of widows and orphans“, as they are sometimes called, the Commissioner of Accounts is the executive arm of the court, supporting the shield by which protection is afforded to those inadequately armed to protect themselves.” See Lamb, Virginia Probate Practice § 107 (1957).
The Commissioner is directly accountable to the Judges of the Circuit Court and is under the general supervision, oversight and subject to the established practices of The Standing Committee on Commissioners of Accounts, a committee established by the Judicial Council of the Supreme Court of Virginia. Any concerns regarding the commissioner may be addressed to either of these entities.