Should a professional administrator be appointed?21Aug2023
In Re the Estate of Yeung Kam (HCAP 19/2022), the Hong Kong High Court refused to appoint 2 beneficiaries of the Estate to be the administrator ad colligenda bona (for the purpose of collecting assets) and administrator pendente lite (pending litigation) and decided to appoint an independent professional instead.
Against a number of other factors such as the deceased’s wish as stated in the will that the 2 nominated beneficiaries be appointed as the joint executrices of the Estate, and the lack of support from other beneficiaries for the appointment of an independent professional, the Court nevertheless considered that it would be appropriate to appoint an independent professional as the administrator ad colligenda bona and administrator pendente lite.
The primary reason for the Court’s decision was that that there had been friction and hostility between the 2 nominated beneficiaries which had adversely affected the administration of the assets. The Court held that it was unrealistic to expect that appointing the beneficiaries as administrators would prompt a change in their conduct. On this basis, the Court considered it justifiable for a professional administrator to be appointed.
This decision reminds us again that the effective administration of an estate is a material factor for consideration when the Court exercises its discretion as to whether a professional administrator should be appointed.
Our private client’s team is experienced in resolving disputes between administrators and beneficiaries and can in appropriate circumstances act as executors of Estates. If you would like to discuss any of the matters raised in this article, please contact our partners Eddie Look and Pamela Mak.
Eddie Look, Pamela Mak and Kevin Siu
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Disclaimer: This publication is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.