Rules of Probate Procedure

Rule 67.  Fiduciaries

(a)  Duties; notice of duties.  A fiduciary (an executor, administrator, guardian or trustee) must promptly and efficiently administer a decedent's estate, guardianship estate or trust. Upon appointment, fiduciaries shall inform themselves of the duties of the fiduciary. 

(b)  Procedure for supervision.  When it appears to the court that a fiduciary has failed to comply with procedures required by law or court rule, or that the estate is not being promptly and properly administered, the court shall proceed as follows: 

(1) The court shall notify the fiduciary and the sureties upon the fiduciary's bond of the nature of the complaint or omission, together with a notice to correct such deficiency or complaint within a period specified but no longer than 30 days; or, in the alternative, to appear before the judge at a time specified within 30 days for a conference concerning such complaint or omission. Copies of a notice to appear shall be mailed to the attorney appearing for such fiduciary and to the sureties for the fiduciary. 

(2) If a conference is directed, a memorandum setting forth date of the conference, the parties present, and the steps required to be taken, if any, providing a period of not to exceed 30 days to correct such complaint or omission, shall be prepared and mailed to the fiduciary, the fiduciary's attorney, and the sureties for the fiduciary. 

(3) For cause shown, on application of the fiduciary, the judge may extend the time for performance of duties for further reasonable period or periods, but any extended period shall not exceed 30 days and shall only be extended to a day certain. The total of such extended period shall not exceed 60 days. 

(4) If the fiduciary fails to perform the duties required within the time specified, or fails to appear for a conference, the court shall hold a hearing on sanctions after notifying all parties. The court may appoint a special fiduciary. The special fiduciary must give bond and shall have all the duties and powers of the fiduciary who the special fiduciary replaces. Upon the appointment of the special fiduciary, the powers of the previous fiduciary are suspended. If no person is available to act as a special fiduciary, the court may suspend the powers of the dilatory fiduciary until further order of the court, and notify the fiduciary, the attorney for the fiduciary, if any, the sureties for the fiduciary and all parties entitled to notice. This rule does not preclude contempt proceedings, or surcharge or other sanctions, as provided by law. 

Vermont Judiciary

last edited: March 15, 2004
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