Removing an Executor


Executors are appointed by a testator (i.e. person drafting a will) to carry out the testator’s wishes and administer the estate. Executors play a significant role and are entrusted with significant fiduciary duties and related responsibilities. Failure to comply with these obligations can have serious implications.

Where beneficiaries, co-executors, or others with an interest in the estate believe that an executor is not acting in the best interests of the estate, is being dishonest, or is otherwise not fulfilling their duties, they can bring an application to remove the executor.

At Derfel Estates Law, our estate lawyers regularly assist clients who are seeking to remove an executor. We take the time to thoroughly understand your specific concerns and desired outcome, will craft an appropriate strategy with the goal of achieving that result, and will represent you throughout all necessary legal proceedings.

Fiduciary Duty

Executors have a fiduciary duty towards the estate and must, above all things, always act in good faith and with integrity and in the best interests of the estate. This includes:

  • Avoiding conflicts of interest
  • Treating all beneficiaries fairly and equally
  • Keeping careful accounts and records of the estate
  • Passing the accounts where necessary

Other Executor Duties 

In addition to their duty to always act in the best interests of the estate, executors must also:

  • Administer the estate, including going through the probate process, if needed
  • Locate and collect the assets of the estate
  • Distribute the assets to beneficiaries according to the will
  • Fulfill any other obligations mentioned in the will

Removing an Executor

Where an executor is not fulfilling their fiduciary and other duties and not acting in the best interests of the estate, any of the beneficiaries or anyone else with an interest in the estate can, under the Trustee Act, apply for an order removing the trustee.

For Guidance on Executor Removals Contact the Toronto Estate Litigators at Derfel Estate Law 

If you are a beneficiary or other party with interests in an estate, are concerned about the appointed executor, and wish to take steps to remove them, contact Derfel Estate Law. We regularly help clients ensure that decisions are being made in the best interests of the estate. Call us at 416-847-3580 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.