Mayor Peter Kelly’s problems with the Mary Thibeault estate will soon take centre stage at Probate Court.
Kelly was a family friend of Thibeault, and in her will Thibeault named Kelly as both one of 18 heirs, and as sole executor of her estate. Thibeault died on December 7, 2004, and Kelly was appointed the executor of her estate on March 24, 2005, charged with distributing at least half a million dollars to the heirs.
Normally, such a straight-forward estate would take about 18 months to settle, but it’s been over seven years and still the estate is unresolved and mired in controversy. As The Coast reported earlier this year (“A trust betrayed,” February 16), part of the reason for the delay is that after Thibeault died, Kelly transferred over $160,000 from her personal bank account to the control of himself and his son. Then, in an inventory filed with the court, Kelly did not report that money as part of Thibeault’s wealth at death.
In June, some of the other heirs filed a motion with the court to have Kelly removed as executor. The court has scheduled a September 26 hearing to consider the matter before an as-yet named judge. If Kelly is going to contest the removal, he’ll have to file a “notice of objection” with the court at least 10 days before the hearing; if he does not, the judge is not required to allow him to submit any evidence at the hearing.
If the judge agrees to remove Kelly as executor, the judge will order Kelly to provide a complete accounting of Thibeault’s estate to the next person named as executor, and to the court. If in the unlikely event that the judge allows Kelly to stay on as executor, Kelly will still have to eventually provide that full accounting.
Peter Kelly to appear before judge
Probate court to decide whether Halifax mayor will be removed as executor of the Mary Thibeault estate.
August 9, 2012