Dads who wish their sons were straight. Mothers who dislike their sons-in-law. Parents who forget all those visits. Over the years, our Kamloops Will lawyers have seen many scenarios when it comes to challenging a Will.
Do you think you’ve been treated unfairly in a loved one’s Will? If you’re considering contesting a Will, our lawyers answer the top three questions about challenging a Will. Read on to help determine whether or not you might have a case, and what steps to follow to help make your claim successful.
1. Who can contest a Will?
Many people in BC don’t realize that there are only two groups of people who can challenge a Will:
- Children and adopted children (but not step-children)
If you are the spouse, biological or adopted child of the deceased person, and you’re disappointed by how your parent or partner has treated you in the Will, it’s best to seek legal advice from Kamloops Wills lawyers — and quickly (see question #3).
2. What do judges consider when people challenge a Will?
When it comes down to it, what they’re really asking is, ‘Has the person challenging the Will been treated unfairly?’
Judges also consider the intent of the deceased. Did they explain in the Will why one sibling was treated differently than the others? Did the deceased understand everything about the situation that led to the Will treating a sibling differently?
So for example, in the case of a daughter being cut out of her mother’s Will, the judge’s underlying question is: Knowing everything I do about this family’s situation and what may have led to the Will-maker’s decisions, what would a fair parent do?
If the Will is significantly off-base from that, a court may change the Will and its distribution.
3. What do Kamloops Will Lawyers recommend to help challenge a Will successfully?
If it seems that the way you’ve been treated in a Will is not how a fair parent or spouse would have done it, you can often make a case for challenging that with help from a lawyer who specializes in Wills and estates.
Step 1. Get legal advice from a lawyer with experience challenging Wills.
With strong and swift legal help, you may be able to resolve the matter without having to go through a court battle if you can prove there was an error in the Will and the deceased’s assumptions were wrong.
Sitting down with a lawyer to explain the entire picture will help you both get a sense of how you might be able to contest the Will, and what you need to do to prove that the deceased’s assumptions were wrong, or that the Will was made in error. Will claims often hang on specific facts, and a good lawyer who specializes in challenging Wills will know how to position those to your advantage in court.
Step 2. Get that legal advice quickly.
Another important factor many BC residents are unaware of is that when it comes time to challenge a Will, you only have six months from the time when the letters of administration (probate) are issued to make a claim, so it’s important to seek specialized legal help right away.
Are you looking for a lawyer with proven experience challenging Wills? Our Kamloops Will lawyers have decades of experience successfully helping clients earn the Will distribution they deserve, all the way to the Court of Appeal. Contact us to arrange a complementary consultation.