Hospital administrator has no authority to agree to deplete remainder amount available to separate fund
An appellate court in Tennessee has held that a decedent’s estate cannot be charged with costs of environmental remediation on property that the estate did not own when the expenditure would reduce the residual amount given to charity. The Court ruled that a hospital administrator who consented to the transaction had no authority to act on behalf of a related charity of which he was not a trustee. (Estate of Ledford, Ct. of App. TN, No E2012-01269-COA-R3-CV, 4/11/13.) Hazel Ledford, second wife of Wilson Ledford, died in 1991, but the issue did not arise until her step-daughter filed her first accounting as personal representative of the estate in 2009. The accounting showed that the estate had paid about $350,000 to remove and remediate contamination caused by underground tanks at a gas station that Mr. Ledford owned and conveyed before his death to a family trust for the benefit of his children and grandchildren.