Punishing A Bad Executor

Date: 14 Sep, 2023| Author: Fred Streiman

In May of 2023, the Honourable Madam Justice Gilmore, who has extensive experience in Wills and Estates finally dealt a significant penalty to what has to be one of the world’s worst executors. Lorali Queripel , one of the three children of the late Betty Shaddock was named her late mother’s executor along with her husband. The mother died in August of 2002 and the executor led the various beneficiaries of the estate, of which she was only one, on a merry chase for over two decades. Despite promising to live up to her basic obligations as an executor, she failed to do so. One of the primary assets of the estate was the mother’s condominium.  The only saving grace for Lorali is that she did not use her executor powers to sell the condo and keep the proceeds for herself.

Aside from that, just about every box that can be ticked off by a bad executor was done so by Lorali. She did not communicate with the other parties having a financial interest in the estate for over 20 years. Despite being subject to numerous court orders to provide the basic information that any executor is required to maintain, she ignored those court orders. She spent most of her time displaying complete indifference to the court process. Judges are humans and do not appreciate their orders going unanswered, especially with no good excuse. As Justice Gilmore pointed out, as Estate trustee aka Executor, Lorali was a fiduciary with fiduciary obligations towards the Estate and its beneficiaries. That coupled with her blatant disregard of numerous court orders left the court with only one course of action. Lorali was ordered to pay the other beneficiaries and the Estate damages of $175,000. $125,000 of that were the past legal fees expended by the Estate pursuing Lorali. One must appreciate that the court process is slow, cumbersome and ludicrously expensive. The other beneficiaries needed to invest vast sums to remedy Lorali’s outrageous conduct.

Additionally at the conclusion of what was hopefully the final motion in which all of these awards were made against Lorali, she was required to reimburse the estate an additional $50,000 for the cost of this motion.

Finally, the Estate sought $100,000 in punitive damages against Lorali for her outrageous behavior. Punitive damages are rarely granted and are ordered only in the most exceptional of circumstances. The court looked at a 2012 Superior Court decision in Walling v. Walling.  In those circumstances, the executor did indeed take the Estate’s assets and use them as his own. In Walling, punitive damages of $100,000 were awarded. Justice Gilmore penalized Lorali by awarding $50,000 in punitive damages against her. Lorali in all likelihood will find herself having all of her interest in the estate being consumed by the various awards made against her, which total approximately $275,000.  All of that could have been avoided had Lorali simply acted in the responsible fashion that no doubt her late mother had trusted her to provide.