In British Columbia, it is possible to contest a will on specific legal grounds. To bring an action, a person must have an interest in the estate. This could include a beneficiary or someone left out of a will. Wills litigation is often difficult from an emotional perspective, as it can involve family members fighting over what were the true wishes of a deceased loved one.
It can also be legally complex to contest a will. The Port Coquitlam lawyers near you at Laughlin & Company have significant experience as courtroom counsel in British Columbia, and we maintain a broad-based wills and estates practice. Our representation in wills litigation includes those who are challenging a will and those who are defending its validity.
Grounds To Challenge A Will In British Columbia
One of several specific legal grounds must be advanced in order to challenge a will in British Columbia. These involve the execution of the document, whether it represents the testator’s true wishes and whether the will fulfills the testator’s responsibility to provide for certain dependents. Specifically, grounds for challenge include:
- Improper execution (e.g. witness signatures not valid)
- Mental incapacity of the testator
- Undue influence by another on the testator
- Adequate provisions not made for dependent spouses or children
In all of these cases, the details of a claim can be complex and a court will always look at all of the circumstances involved. While, for example, a testator is required to take care of children, a court is more likely to change a will to provide for a dependent young child than an independent adult child. Speaking with a lawyer at Laughlin & Company Lawyers Mediators is one way to establish whether you may have a case, and if so, whether pursuing litigation is in your best interests.
As a full-service firm, we offer process options to resolve disputes privately, such as through mediation or direction negotiation, without the prolonged conflict of a court trial. If this is not possible, we are diligent advocates for clients’ interests before a judge.
To learn more about varying a will in British Columbia, speak to one of our lawyers in Port Coquitlam. Call the firm at 604-239-0800 or get in touch online. Clients of our firm come from throughout the Tri-Cities, specifically the municipalities of Poco, Port Moody and Coquitlam, and throughout the Lower Mainland.