Vice Chancellor Removes Estate Administrator for Failing to Perform His Duties

Delaware Fiduciary Litigation Blog

Posted June 29, 2017

Estate of Walter E. Cannon, ROW Folio #10108 (June 28, 2017)

       The Administrator of the Estate of Walter E. Cannon failed to file the requisite Inventory and Accounting with the Register of Wills office in violation of 12 Del. C. §2301(a). The Petitioner sought the removal of the Administrator from his appointment for his alleged failure to perform official duties under 12 Del.C. §1541(a). Pursuant to Rule 194 of the Chancery Court, the court ordered a hearing to show cause, and the Administrator failed to appear at that hearing. The Administrator, who was acting pro se, also failed to submit any explanation for his noncompliance with §2301(a).

       The Vice Chancellor nonetheless continued the matter due to the concern that the Administrator perhaps did not receive actual notice of the hearing. In response, the Sussex County Register of Wills not only demonstrated that the notice was properly sent to the Administrator via both U.S. First Class Mail and Certified Mail, but also that the Administrator himself had signed a certification of receipt that was returned to the Register of Wills.

       Upon this showing of clear notice, the Vice Chancellor ordered the removal of the Administrator for his failure to perform official duties and absence at the corresponding rule to show cause hearing. The court’s order pointed out that the administrator was not discharged from any liability for his actions or inactions while serving as administrator.


William M. Kelleher, Director
Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A.
Christopher Clemson – Law Clerk