Apr 4, 2014

Executor Removed for Conflict

Bereskin Estate, Re, 2014 MBCA 15 (CanLII)
Mr. Zindler was the executor of the estate of Isabelle Alice Bereskin. The main beneficiaries of the estate were Mr. Zindler and four charities. A number of disputes arose.The testatrix had left multiple wills and there was a dispute as to entitlement to shares of a private company which Mr. Zindler claimed had been left to him. The four charities applied to have Mr. Zindler removed as an executor.
Held: The courts will not lightly remove an executor. The parties seeking the removal must show that the executor is in a conflict of interest and failed to put the interests of the trusts and the beneficiaries first. In this case there was a clear conflict between the interests of Mr. Zindler and the remaining beneficiaries of the estate. It was in the interests of all parties that he be replaced with an executor who could act in a neutral manner.