Challenging A Will
Our lawyers can provide you with the assistance you need when you’re trying to challenge a will in BC. Our Surrey-based lawyers have been working on wills and other estate plans in Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland for decades. We understand the complex collection of acts that govern this area of the law, and we can use our experience to make sure that you are fairly covered under the disputed will.
You can learn more about the conditions under which you can challenge a will in the section just below. If you’re ready to discuss disputing a will with one of our litigators, you can begin that process by requesting a consultation here on our website. We’ll answer any questions you have, and tell you what you can expect from a challenge.
How To Contest A Will Under The Wills, Estates & Succession Act
There are several acts that play important roles in challenging a will, but the Wills, Estates & Succession Act (WESA) repealed the Wills Variation Act, Wills Act in BC, the Estate Administration Act, and Probate Recognition Act. It was designed and passed to provide protections that were missing from these previous acts.
Under the Part 4, Division 6 of WESA, a will-maker or testator has certain obligations towards his or her spouse, including common-law spouses and children. This includes legally adopted children and children born outside of marriage, alive at the time of either spouse’s death. In British Columbia, even if a Will is technically valid, the will-maker must still make “adequate, just and equitable” provision for spouses(s) and children. If the Will does not properly provide for them, the children or spouse(s) have a right to challenge the distribution of the estate under the Will.
We are able to advise and represent you in matters related to varying the distribution of an estate set out under a Will, including the following:
- If a Will unfairly excludes or disinherits a “child” or a “spouse” of the person who made the Will and the child or spouse feels that the Will is unfair;
- If you are unsure if you qualify as a “child” or a “spouse” of the person who made a Will within the meaning of the Part 4 of WESA and you need help to determine your status or ability to challenge the distribution of the estate under the Will;
- If a person has challenged a Will under the Part 4, Division 6 of WESA and the Will names you as the trustee or executor and you need to know your rights and responsibilities;
- If a person has challenged a Will that lists you as a beneficiary and you need help determining your rights and entitlement; and
- If you are named as an executor/trustee and are also a “spouse” or “child” and you are considering applying to vary the distribution of the estate under a Will under the WESA
Talk To McQuarrie About Contesting A Will
Our lawyers are experienced when it comes to challenging a will using the provisions of the Wills, Estates & Succession Act, Wills Variations Act, the Wills Act, or any other important legislation. Please contact us immediately if you have been excluded from a will.