S. 132 WESA – Special Administrator

Special AdministratorS. 132 WESA ( Wills, Estates, Succession Act) allows the Court to appoint as administrator of an estate any person the court considers appropriate if, because of special circumstances ,the court considers it appropriate to do so. The appointment can be conditional or unconditional and made for general, special or limited purposes.
This is of potential great use to the many fractured families embroiled in estate litigation where there are accusations that the executor is being unfair and the estate is dragging on due to infighting.
In Re Godby Estate 2015 BCSC 1809 the court considered appointing  an experienced estate lawyer in the place of a trust company but chose the trust company largely as the majority of the beneficiaries wanted the trust company who had already started work on the administration and had a contract for the sale of the major asset.
The trust company was appointed special administrator pursuant to S 132 WESA unconditionally and generally.
The Law
45      By their opposing applications, the parties effectively seek the same result: appointment of a special administrator under s. 132 of WESA. As noted earlier in these reasons, the initial grant of administration to Solus is or may be flawed in that Barbara’s and Brenda’s opposition to Solus was not or may not have been considered. Simply setting aside the ex parte order of Harris J. and reinstating the order appointing Solus does not take this apparent oversight into account.
46      The appointment sought is within the discretion of the court. The discretion must be exercised with a view to placing the administration of the estate in the hands of the entity that is likely best to convert it to the advantage of those with claims to the estate, per Earl of Warwick v. Greville (1809), 1 Phill. Ecc. 132, 161 E.R. 934 (Eng. P.D.A.).
47      The fact that the majority of the beneficiaries in this case support the appointment of Solus is a significant factor for me to consider, per Williams v. Wilkins (1812), 2 Phill. Ecc. 100, 161 E.R. 1090 (Eng. K.B.). The majority beneficiaries are entitled to about 80% of the estate and have a significant interest in its administration.
48      Friction between a beneficiary and a trustee, in the absence of misconduct or breach of trust on the part of the trustee, is not sufficient to merit the removal of a trustee: Conroy v. Stokes, [1952] 4 D.L.R. 124 (B.C. C.A.).

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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