Dealing with a Problem Executor

  • Recorded on: December 6, 2022

  • Length: 60 minutes


If you’re depending on an executor to deal with an estate, you may find yourself frustrated and not knowing where to go for help. Lawyers Amy Mortimore, KC and Zachary Murphy-Rogers answer common questions about dealing with a problem executor.


In this webinar, you will learn:

  • What an executor is and what are they responsible for. [3:45]

  • Whether a trust company that has been appointed as the executor in a will can renounce the executorship, and if so, whether a child of the deceased can apply to become the administrator. [8:20]

  • What it means to consent to a person becoming the administrator "without bond" and how to ensure that the person administers the estate fairly. [12:30]

  • Who is entitled to receive a copy of the will and what to do if the executor refuses to provide a copy. [16:55]

  • Where siblings inherit their parents’ home in equal shares, whether one sibling can send another sibling’s share of the contents of the home to auction if that sibling argues with the way that contents are divided. [20:25

  • Whether an executor can insist on the sale of a home when the beneficiaries want to keep it in the family and rent it. [24:10]

  • Whether an executor who is also a beneficiary of an estate must disclose to the other beneficiaries that she was the designated beneficiary in the deceased’s RRIF policy. [29:20]

  • Whether there’s a time limit for an executor to apply for probate and what steps can be taken to speed things up. [33:05]

  • Whether a citation can be filed after a year has passed without an executor applying for probate; also, whether a lawyer is required and what resources are available online. [36:20]

  • Whether an executor has sole discretion to make a partial distribution from an estate or whether the court or all of the beneficiaries must authorize it. [39:25]

  • What steps a beneficiary can take if the executor is incompetent. [42:50]

  • Whether a beneficiary is entitled to interest on a cash gift if the executor is slow to make distributions. [44:35]

  • What a beneficiary can do if they think the executor has emptied the deceased’s bank accounts. [45:40]

  • How a beneficiary can require an executor to explain where the money went and how much they will receive. [47:25]

  • What legal options are available to those who are affected by an estate where nothing has been done for ten years. [49:35]

  • What happens when an executor takes too long to sell assets during a down market. [50:35]

  • Where an executor was previously the deceased’s attorney under a power of attorney, whether a beneficiary can request an accounting that dates back to when the executor was the attorney. [52:55]

  • What court form is used to initiate an action to have an executor removed. [54:25]


Amy Mortimore, KC

Amy Mortimore, KC

Amy Mortimore, KC is a lawyer at Clark Wilson LLP in Vancouver. She is the co-chair of her firm’s estate and trust practice group. Her practice includes all types of estate and trust litigation, including wills variation claims, incapacity and undue influence claims, applications to approve a document as a will even where it was not properly witnessed, and applications for rectification. Amy is very committed to legal education and regularly presents to lawyers and other professionals on estate and trust topics.

Zachary Murphy-Rogers

Zachary Murphy-Rogers

Zachary Murphy-Rogers is a lawyer at Clark Wilson LLP in Vancouver. He maintains both a litigation practice and a solicitor’s practice, exclusively in the areas of wills, trusts & estates, and elder law. Zachary recognizes that his clients want practical, cost-effective advice and solutions tailored to their unique needs, and he is committed to finding creative and appropriate solutions to resolve legal disputes.

Attendee feedback

“This was an excellent session. The Q&A's were very helpful; really appreciate the real world situations that really anyone could come up against when dealing with an estate.”

“All of the participants were excellent communicators. Much appreciated. The questions chosen were engaging and the answers were complete and very informative. Thank you!!!!”

“The presenters were very good. I liked their presentation style. I also appreciated the more senior lawyer … pointing out that these actions can be taken on without a lawyer (although, of course, it is better if one can be hired).”

“Presenters delivered clear responses in layman's terms, which was greatly appreciated.”

“Thank you for providing this seminar. I really appreciated having my questions answered personally and also online. Hearing what everyone else is experiencing made me a little more patient with my issues.”

"This is the affirmation I needed to know I am doing a good job."

Additional resources

From People’s Law School: 


Also on this topic

Still not sure what to do?

If you're looking for advice specific to your situation, there are options for free or low-cost help.

Options for legal help

This website explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. The cases we refer to reflect real experiences, but names have been changed. See our full disclaimer.

Get the latest free info — sign up for our newsletter

Access the email newsletter archive.

Contact us

You can reach us by phone at 604-331-5400. More contact info.

Also from People's Law School

Dial-A-Law: A starting point for information on the law in British Columbia in 190+ topic areas. Available online and by phone.

Unbundled Legal Services: Learn about a new service model for lower-cost legal help. 

Beagle: A chatbot that helps with common legal problems. Look in the bottom right corner :)

Thanks to our funders

Meet our primary funders.

People's Law School logo

We are grateful to work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, whose Peoples continue to live on and care for these lands.