Garton & Harris

Discharging the personal representative in B.C.

Personal representatives may be discharged from an estate either through their own application for discharge or by the application of another party. There are several reasons why a personal representative may need to be removed.

Courts may grant a party's motion to remove a personal representative if it appears the representative is unable to manage his or her own financial affairs. Representatives may also be removed if they have been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or if they are bankrupt and have not had their debts discharged. Courts may also remove a personal representative who is unable to perform their duties or unreasonably refuses to carry out his or her duties. When a personal representative has been removed because of such issues, another person may be substituted to serve in his or her place.

Personal representatives may seek their own discharge. In some cases, notice is required while in others, notice is not required. These petitions for discharged may be filed either before or after probate or administration has been granted. Notice is not required if the personal representative's accounts have been passed under the Trustee Account or if all of the interested parties have consented to the personal representative's accounts.

The probate process depends on the personal representative's ability to complete his or her duties with a high degree of ethics, impartiality and organization. Some people are unwilling to fulfill this role, while others may be unfit to do so. When these types of situations occur, people may seek the personal representative's discharge. It can be very important to be careful when selecting a person to serve as an estate's personal representative.

Source: Queen's Printer BC, "Personal representative may apply to be discharged", December 04, 2014

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