Anecdotally, it appears that a rising number of court cases involve beneficiaries or co-trustees trying to remove a “rogue” executor. It is clear from a review of the case law and secondary authorities that the courts have the authority to order the removal of executors, but the challenge is to determine when they will exercise that authority.
The case law establishes a long list of factors that the courts will consider in determining whether to remove an executor. Generally, no one factor is determinative, but it always seems to boil down to one question – is it in the best interests of the estate and the beneficiaries for the executor to be removed? When judges remove executors, it’s because that question is answered in the affirmative.
There is a volume of these cases, but our associates have written blogs on several of the more interesting ones highlighting the factors relied on by the court to justify the removal of executors. For those seeking an introduction or review of the topic, these blogs make an interesting read: