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Friday, June 26, 2015

Court Removes “Ill-Mannered” Administrator, Sanctions Him With Special Costs

I sure get a lot of questions from readers about executors. Sometimes readers tell me that the executor they are dealing with is hostile or unreasonable. Well, you haven't seen anything yet. 

Recently the court in BC had to deal with an unbelievably difficult co-administrator of an estate named James Campbell. James said he would charge the estate  $300 per email, $500 per telephone call, and $1,500 per letter to work on the estate. His emails to his two fellow co-administrators (his siblings) were disrespectful and profane. He demanded $40,000 from each of them before he'd do anything on the estate. He told the court he had evidence that the other two administrators had stolen from the deceased but wouldn't tell anyone what the evidence was.

The estate, not surprisingly, was at a standstill. This would be bad news for any estate, but in this particular case they had to deal with a caregiver who had embezzled $175,000 in cash along with other assets. There was an ongoing police investigation. In other words, the co-administrators had a lot to do, and James' unreasonableness was making it impossible for the estate to proceed.

So what did the court do with James Campbell? 

The court removed him as administrator. That wasn't too surprising. But the court went further, and ordered that James would have to pay the legal costs of the other two. The judge said that he ordered this financial punishment as a warning to any other executors or administrators who got up to "nonsense" instead of doing the job they were appointed to do.

This is the Estate of Forbes MacTavish Campbell. If you'd like to read a more detailed description of the behaviour that led to the removal of this administrator and the reasons given by the judge, click here to read a very good article by Amy Mortimore of the law firm of Clark Wilson LLP.

1 comment:

  1. This is no doubt an extreme case and this Executor is very angry and troubled man. The Court was right in this case. An Executor has a job to do and that is to resolve and settle an Estate with all the available information. Everyone involved with the Estate including lawyers, judges is accountable. Sadly that is not always the case.

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