Have you been disinherited? We may be able to help you.
At Dyson Law Firm, we have experience assisting beneficiaries, executors and others with disputes involving estates and wills.
Note that there are extremely short timelines for you to vary or correct a will. If you a miss a deadline or the expiration of what is called a limitation period, your claim may be lost forever. For example, you have six months to correctly file your claim in Court to vary a British Columbia will from the date of probate. Do not hesitate. Please call us at today at 604-876-7000.
Inadequate Provision in a Will
If a will does not adequately provide for dependents of the testator (person who made the will), the will can be varied. Similarly, if the children or spouse of a testator are disinherited from the will, the disinherited party can apply to court to have the will varied to provide a fairer distribution of the testator’s estate.
Governing legislation, specifically the Wills, Estates and Succession Act [SBC 2009] c. 13 (the “WESA”), allows the spouse and children of the testator to apply to alter a will after the testator dies. The definition of spouse is broad and inclusive.
Invalidity of the Will
If a willmaker does not have testamentary capacity to execute a will or is the subject of undue influence, a will could be challenged and, if successful, declared void. In this case, the most recent former will of the testator governs. If there is no former will, the estate passes through the intestacy provisions of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act [SBC 2009] c. 13. (the “WESA”).
Contesting a Will
If a party believes that the testator did not have the mental capacity required to make the will or that the will is otherwise invalid, that party may be able to contest the validity of the will in court.
Undue influence over a will maker can render a will invalid. Undue influence is, as Madame Justice Southin described it in Longmuir v. Holland, 2000 BCCA 538, “influence which overbears the will of the person influenced so in truth what she does is not his or her own act.”
If the will is not executed properly, it may or may not be accepted as a valid will by the Court. We see this issue more frequently in recent years given the rising number of people using “do it yourself” will kits without the assistance of a lawyer.
Interpretation of Will
If the will as written is unclear, a Court may be asked to interpret it.
If you have contributed to the estate of a deceased and feel that the deceased’s will inadequately provides for you in light of your contributions to the estate, you can bring an action against the estate for compensation. We may be able to help you with this potential claim.
What Happens if I Die Without a Will?
When someone who lives in British Columbia dies without a will, the passing of their estate is governed by the intestacy provisions of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act [SBC 2009] c. 13. (the “WESA”). We can provide advice and help protect your rights if a close relative or spouse dies without a will.
Correction of Incorrectly Drafted Will
The WESA has provisions which enable you to apply to Court to possibly correct a will that was incorrectly drafted (for example, having beneficiaries witness the signing of the will or handwritten with errors). Our firm can help you with this issue.
If you have an estate problem or concern that you don’t see listed here, please contact us for assistance. We’d love to hear from you!