Where There’s A Will, There’s a Way

  • Short of Family disputes, few areas of law are as emotional as Estate Litigation. Usually, they involve family members with deeply diverging points of view, claims and counter-claims. It’s as much an emotional process as a legal one -- and with the same long-term outcomes. A Will, or the final settlement of a Will, can have personal repercussions in the years to come.

    A common factor present in the background of many Estate Disputes is the passage of time. The longer the gap between the writing of a Will by the Testator – the person who wrote the will – and the date when the Testator passes away, the more likely it is that relationships have changed, or that new people have entered the picture. And with all of that, the chances of someone disputing the validity of the will also increase.

    There are four main types of Will disputes: Wills Variations; Validity of Wills; Undue Influence; and Claims Against Trustees.

    Wills Variation means that a spouse or child has the right to challenge a disinheritance or an unfair will to determine whether they have a valid claim to the estate.whether a Will is valid, or whether certain terms are being challenged. Were all of the many legal requirements fulfilled in filing the Will? Is a Will being contested under the BC Wills Variation Act?

    Validity of Wills is a concept in law . In order to be valid, a will has to comply with certain formalities and if it does not, the will is of no effect and the estate will not be distributed according to its terms. Undue influence refers to a situation when you believe a will doesn’t reflect the Testator’s true wishes. Proving this depends on many factors such as: who gave the instructions; how they were given; and who stands to benefit most. If the primary beneficiary holds Power of Attorney, this too needs to be taken into consideration.

    Trustees are appointed to manage and administrate the terms of Wills and Trusts, and have a legal responsibility to follow the Will with precise due diligence. If it’s thought that a trustee is mishandling affairs, or if legal irregularities are suspected, speed is of the essence to ensure that further damage to asset values is halted at once.

    In short, it’s a very complex -- and often a very emotional -- legal issue, one that calls for professional expertise. When it’s time to consult a lawyer, always choose a specialist in Wills and Estates.

    Helpforme provides personal legal services that assist in removing the stress from legal issues stemming from any of these scenarios. Specialists in Wills have broad experience and deep knowledge of the law, and know how to address your claim for the best possible outcome -- and within the timelines the law requires.

    Helpforme lawyers work with you every step of the way, from your free initial consultation to a successful outcome. They get to know you personally, because the more they know you, and the issues surrounding your Wills claim, the better the outcome. They provide emotional support, too, knowing that often family members are involved in a dispute -- and the emotional toll that takes. Find out how Helpforme can help you with your particular and personal legal issue: helpforme.ca