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Digest of the Week | Compensation for Estate Trustees

Digest of the Week | Compensation for Estate Trustees

Court finds that estate trustees are entitled to reimbursement for disbursements, but not compensation

Bolton v. Armstrong | 2017 ONSC 1781 | Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Estates -- Passing of accounts -- Powers of court -- Compensation

Deceased appointed estate trustees who lived in Scotland -- Deceased left Henson-like trust to applicant, who was 46 years old and in receipt of government disability benefits -- Estate was modest, comprised mainly of deceased’s home, and $65,632 remained after paying debts and specific bequests -- Trustees claim $14,577 compensation as well as $26,423 legal fees for estate -- Trustees brought application to pass accounts -- Application granted in part -- Deceased’s choice of out-of-jurisdiction trustees unduly burdened estate with expenses -- There was no argument on whether trustees’ attendance in Canada was necessary, and evidence on whether they could have stayed at deceased’s home was conflicting, so they were to be reimbursed for flight, hotel and meals -- Research conducted by law firm on who had financial interest on estate was unnecessary and not allowed, and majority of work performed by law clerks should have been done by trustees, so 70 per cent of these fees were deducted -- All-inclusive legal fees of $12,348 were allowed -- Trustees were entitled to reimbursement for disbursements but not to compensation, as they had not presented time dockets and had engaged in troubling conduct with suggestions about trust that were contrary to beneficiary’s interests.
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