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Evidence

Can a trustee be removed without evidence of bad behaviour?

It is reasonably easy to imagine many of the possible reasons for which a trustee or executor may be removed from their position by the Court. Perhaps he appropriated trust property for his own benefit, delayed in taking the steps necessary to administer the trust or estate, failed to account for trust property, or was otherwise clearly incompetent in the role.
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Disagreement Executors

Does friction between co-executors warrant removal?

The friction between Peter and Michael was long standing and intense. While the reported case does not specifically say so it appears that the arguments over their mother’s investments was just another platform of expression for their mutual animus. While Peter may have been the executor of his grandfather’s estate Michael was his mother’s litigation guardian.
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Conflict Of Interest

Do Conflicts of Interest warrant removal of an Executor?

A conflict of interest does not automatically result in the removal of an executor. A review of the case law and secondary authorities paints a coherent picture and legal baseline. For an Ontario judge to remove an executor on account of a conflict of interest s/he must be convinced that the removal is in the best interests of the estate.
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Removing an Executor: Delay & Non-Action

In Kajaks Estate, the deceased named his stepson as executor. There were no distributions for eight years. At that point, pursuant to a court application, the executor was ordered to make interim distributions of $100,000 to each of the applicants. While the residuary beneficiary received an interim distribution, the applicants did not. The applicants went back to court and sought to find the executor in contempt of the previous order and to remove him for delay.
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Probate Application

Can a Non-Resident Apply for Probate?

Section 5 of the Estates Act (the “Act”) states “Letters of Administration shall not be granted to a person not residing in Ontario”. The statute appears to be a definite and full answer to our question. But, when answering a legal question, a thorough reading of the statutes and secondary sources dealing with the question together with a full review of how judges interpret the statute is necessary. As the Armstrong case demonstrates, reading only one section of the Act could lead to an erroneous conclusion.
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