Laws exist to provide protection for beneficiaries and disinherited family members to ensure both fair distribution of an estate, as well as protection from fraud and misconduct by executors and trustees. We help you protect what is rightfully yours.
If you are considering challenging a Will because you’ve been disinherited or unfairly treated, or are concerned about executor or trustee actions, you may have legal recourse. Our Estate Dispute Resolution and Litigation team can assess your claim and advise you of your legal options.
If you are an executor or a trustee seeking legal representation for the estate; or a beneficiary in need of assistance to defend an estate against those seeking a share, Hammerberg Lawyers LLP has the expertise to help you.
Bringing a claim
Reasons you may not feel that you have been treated fairly in a Will include: family estrangement; undue influences on your parent; sibling benefit inequality; step-family issues; parental incapacity; inheritance disputes stemming from a parent’s divorce or re-marriage; elder abuse; and more. If you feel wronged, consult one of our Estate Litigation lawyers.
If you are a beneficiary who is dissatisfied with the ways in which an executor or trustee is carrying out his or her duties, we can advise you on your legal options.
Defending a claim
If you are the executor or trustee of an estate and someone is bringing a claim against the estate, it is advisable to ensure that the estate has legal representation. Similarly, if you are a beneficiary and someone is challenging the validity of the Will, or bringing a claim to vary the Will, we can help defend your claim to the estate.
Claims of undue influence of caregivers or testamentary capacity of the will-maker will often require expert evidence from medical doctors. We can ensure these complex matters are handled by the appropriate experts.
If you have been disinherited or otherwise treated unfairly in a Will in BC, you have 180 days from Grant of Probate to bring an estate dispute claim.
Estate litigation cases are often complex. Issues need to be worked through to establish your rights and your options. It’s not easy to represent yourself when your share of an estate is in question, and Estate disputes can be emotionally challenging. Difficult tasks like assessing a loved one’s capacity are best handled by professionals. Sensitive and personal situations, and evidence, require diplomatic and expert handling.
When an individual becomes incapable of managing their financial and personal affairs, a member of their family, a friend or a loved one may apply to the Court for the appointment as Committee of the Person and/or Committee of the Estate if they wish to make decisions about the individual’s financial and personal decisions. A Committee can be appointed even if there is a Power of Attorney or Representation Agreement already in place. If more than one individual wishes to be appointed Committee, your application may be disputed. If you wish to make an application for Committeeship – whether or not it is disputed – our Estate Litigation lawyers can represent you.
Hammerberg’s estate litigation lawyers can help you navigate the challenges efficiently and guide you through the process to a positive resolution and the outcome you deserve. By quickly identifying your options, we can help you reach an optimal outcome within legal deadlines. We’ll establish if you have a claim and work with you to understand what’s at stake.
We adopt a personalized approach depending on each client’s situation. Whenever possible, we take claims on a contingency basis. Hammerberg’s estate litigation group focuses on assisting people in circumstances that are often too complex to resolve on their own, while keeping their best interests in mind and adding value every step of the way.
In some situations, we work with estate litigation mediators to provide an alternative to the courts. Using options like this can help bring divided families back together, if desired.
Are you within the time limit? The Wills, Estate and Succession Act prohibits any applications to vary a Will 180 days after Grant of Probate. Once the time limit expires, you will be unable to bring a claim. Other challenges to Wills may have a longer limitation period, but it is important to commence your claim promptly to protect your rights.
Schedule your free consultation at Hammerberg Lawyers LLP so we can discuss your point of view and assess whether or not you have a valid claim.
Call us at 604-269-8500 or Toll Free at 1-888-LAW-5544. We’ll review your case and inform you of the best way to proceed.
Your evidence helps us evaluate and prepare your claim. Types of evidence would include: a copy of the Will (if there is one) and information relating to the deceased, other beneficiaries and assets of the estate. Assets include property, cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, cars, artwork, jewelry, furniture and other objects of value.