Several years ago disinherited.com had an estate where the deceased had substantial assets that needed protection, while it took in excess of two years to locate his very distant next of kin in the far-off Ukraine. He had died intestate and no person came forward to be appointed administrator of the estate.
In these situations where there is a delay in the appointment of a general administrator and it is necessary for the protection of the estate that someone be empowered to protect the assets, then the court may well appoint an administrator ad colligenda bona.
This type of grant and is typically made when situations arise where either there is no one to be appointed administrator, or they cannot be located, or they have refused to accept a grant of administration.
The grant may even be made to a creditor or to a friend of the deceased, as the main purpose is to protect the assets until a proper administrator can be found and appointed.
The grant is usually limited to a particular purpose and time until the jungle until the general grant is made. It is for the administration only, the will is not proved her annexed, and bonding is generally required.
In Re Shalapay 3 BCLR 3d 217 the Court held that an Administratrix is entitled to reasonable remuneration for services performed as administratrix and as solicitor.
There is no statutory authority for the appointment of an administrator ad colligenda bona. However, the scope of the appointment is similar in nature to that of an administrator pendente lite. If the estate is large, a percentage fee as contemplated by s. 90 of the Trustee Act would be ridiculous. On the other hand, if the estate were small, a percentage fee might be insufficient.
An administratrix ad colligenda bona should be entitled to reasonable remuneration rather than a percentage of the estate for her work as administratrix and to her reasonable fees as solicitor. Her accounts as solicitor would be subject to review under the Legal Profession Act.