Sometimes, third parties who are not related to the deceased may be appointed by the court as an estate trustee.
It has been our experience in highly contested estates when competing parties will not agree on permitting the other acting as estate trustee, the court has the ability to appoint a third party.
On consent, we have even had the situation where a solicitor in our office has been appointed as an estate trustee during litigation.
An example set out in the Taylor Estate decision was a fight between appointed executors/siblings. The Court held that the situation was obviously unworkable, due to the conflict between the siblings.
The court selected and appointed a mutual agreed third party.
Under the Estates Act, a named executor has the ability to nominate a third party to act as estate trustee which can be successful with the court’s authority.
One has to be careful in not looking to a third party who resides outside of Ontario. Looking at S.6 & 29 of the Estates Act, the court can only appoint an estate trustee with a will to a non-resident of Ontario who has the consent of the majority of the persons living in Ontario who otherwise are entitled to apply for such an appointment.
Clearly, there is a considerable expense in having an outside party so appointed as they rarely will act unless they are paid to do so.
This leads back to the author’s own prejudice against naming multiple executors. It is a recipe to create conflict when none is necessary. As we discussed elsewhere, testators often wish to name all of their children as joint executors as an expression of their equal love for them. This is a failed logic for that love should be expressed in the naming of the equal beneficiaries rather than the complication of multiple executors.