Can a personal representative of the deceased's estate make a claim under s. 151(3) of the BC Supreme Court of Justice for personal representative leave to continue to pursue his claim?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from Dunn v Baird Estate, 2022 BCSC 498 (CanLII):

As is indicated by the word “may” emphasised above in s. 151(3), the decision to grant leave is discretionary and serves a gate-keeping function pursuant to the court’s supervisory role in administering estates. In exercising its discretion, the court will consider both if a claim is “necessary” and “expedient”. Claims may be necessary if the personal representative of the estate is unable or unwilling to advance a claim which is in the best interests of the estate: Bunn v. Bunn Estate, 2016 BCSC 2146 at para. 50.

An expedient claim is a claim which is in the best interests of the estate: Bunn at para. 50-51. A claim must have sufficient merit to be considered within the best interests of the estate, having regard to the attendant inconvenience and expense of pursuing a claim. Unsubstantiated claims based on conjecture and suspicion do not merit the court’s discretion to grant leave. Fry v. Fry, 2018 BCSC 1018 at paras. 84-90.

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