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Key decisions

  • In the Estate of Thornton (Deceased); Australian Unity Bank Ltd v JT Holdings (SA) Pty Ltd [2019] SASC 49
  • Minicozzi v Starr [2019] SASC 55
  • Spink v Flourentzou [2019] NSWSC 256
  • Hill v Dunn [2019] NSWSC 419
  • Carly White v Candice Williams [2019] NSWSC 437
  • In the Estate of Leslie Wayne Quinn (deceased) [2019] QSC 99
  • Demediuk v Demediuk [2019] VSCA 79
  • Kunnen (Deceased) [2019] SASC 53
  • Valverde v Inch [2018] NSWSC 366
  • Squire v Squire [2019] NSWCA 90
  • Katramados v Hasapis (No 3) [2019] NSWSC 435

Passing over a neglectful and wasteful executor

John Thornton appointed his elder son, John junior, to be the executor of his estate. The estate was given to both his children, John junior and Andrew, equally. The estate consisted of at least six parcels of real estate. John junior and Andrew were specified beneficiaries of two discretionary trusts with John junior as the appointor. The testator died in 2017. In 2018, Andrew applied for John junior to be passed over as executor and for him to be appointed administrator with will annexed. The Court in In the Estate of Thornton (Deceased); Australian Unity Bank Ltd v JT Holdings (SA) Pty Ltd [2019] SASC 49 (Bampton J) was ‘satisfied that the due and proper administration of the estate has been put in jeopardy, or prevented, by the acts or omissions of John in his capacity as executor’ (at [22]). The Court found that John junior had neglected his duties as an executor by failing to: collect the assets of the estate; determine whether the assets fell into the trusts or the estate; liaise with the creditors of the estate; satisfy the creditors of the estate; manage the estate properties; maintain the estate properties; pay rates or apply to have statutory debts put into abeyance; insure estate properties; and make efforts to call in, administer, or distribute the estate (at [23]). In addition he had caused waste to the estate by: not insuring; allowing debts to accrue interest; having the properties lose value due to lack of maintenance; and residing in one of the estate properties and, therefore, precluding the ability for the estate to benefit from rental income. Orders were made as sought.

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