3.10 Trust Balances and Shortages
You must always maintain enough money on deposit to meet your clients' obligations in each pooled or separate trust account (Rules of the Law Society of Alberta, Rule 119.24(1)).
- funds have actually been deposited or wired and that they have cleared,
- the withdrawal is coming from the same trust account where the deposit was made,
- the funds on deposit are sufficient to cover the withdrawal,
- the trust funds can be used for the purpose of the withdrawal (i.e., the funds are not impressed with a trust for a different purpose, there is no court order, contractual obligation or other charge prohibiting withdrawal) and
- the withdrawal will not breach an undertaking.
Always review the individual client trust ledger card before issuing the trust cheque. The individual client trust ledger card must show sufficient funds to cover your cheque. You will have a "shortage" if there are not sufficient funds to the credit of that particular client, or if funds deposited to your client's credit have not cleared.
Note: even if the overall pooled trust account has enough money to cover the cheque, you will create a "shortage" if that particular client does not have sufficient funds in the pooled account. You must have enough funds on-hand to cover all trust obligations (Rule 119.24(1)).