There are different avenues to consider when contesting and challenging a Will. For example, the Will’s validity as a whole can come into question, or there may be issues with certain terms of the Will. Before we begin any process, we learn all we can about the factors and people involved. We identify your options and the most efficient and practical approach, and work toward your desired outcome.
Hammerberg’s strength lies in understanding both the laws that protect a will-maker’s right to distribute assets according to their wishes; and the laws that permit a child or spouse of the will-maker to challenge the fairness of that distribution.
The law asserts that although there are no legal obligations for a will-maker to provide for their spouse or adult children, there is a moral obligation to do so if there are sufficient assets. That said, the will-maker’s moral obligation is not carved in stone. A will-maker may have a good reason to disinherit an adult child or to distribute assets to siblings differently, for example, if a particular child has ignored or mistreated the will-maker. In such a case, the Court may find the will-maker was justified in his or her decision and the Will should be upheld.
Before ruling to vary a Will, the Court will consider a number of factors in an estate claim, including the size of the estate, whether assets were transferred to a child by the will-maker when he or she was still alive, and the relative financial positions of the successors.
In BC, there 6 main grounds for contesting a Will:
FAILURE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE PROVISION FOR A SPOUSE OR CHILD.
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AND APPROVAL OF THE WILL’S CONTENTS.
LACK OF TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY.
MISTAKE IN DRAFTING A WILL.
INVALID EXECUTION IN SIGNING A WILL.
Each of these six grounds for contesting a Will has specific conditions in which they can be considered a valid cause, according to the law. Hammerberg’s estate litigation lawyers have experience in court as well as with alternative dispute resolution methods to achieve a fair conclusion for all involved.
Due to strict deadlines, Hammerberg’s expertise and efficiency are powerful advantages. Claims need to be made within 180 days from the “Grant of Probate.” As well, specific regulations apply for spouses and children that don’t apply to others. If beneficiaries have received assets from sources outside of the estate, it can create even more complexity. Home to a strong team of negotiators and estate planning lawyers, Hammerberg Lawyers LLP can help you to reach the best possible results.