When a loved one passes away, poor estate planning and family conflict may lead to legal disputes over wills. While some family members may question the validity of a will, others may feel they have not received a fair portion of the estate. If you feel that you have been unfairly treated or your needs are not adequately met by a will, our experienced lawyers at Nirwan Law Corporation can assist you to file a wills variation claim.
What is a wills variation claim?
Under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA), formerly the Wills Variation Act, a will-maker is obligated to adequately provide for their spouse and/or children. A will variation is an opportunity for a spouse or child who has been excluded or not received a sufficient portion of an estate in a will to contest the will. Family members can request that the BC Supreme Court evaluate the will and change the will’s terms if it does not offer sufficient support.
Who can contest a will?
You must apply for a will variation within 180 days of the will being proved valid and legitimate. Under WESA, the following people can apply to the Court for a variation.
- Spouses, including same-sex, legal and common law
- Minor biological or adopted children
- Adult biological or adopted children
How is a will variation decided?
The court will take into consideration several factors to determine the legal and moral obligation of the will-maker to provide for their spouse and/or children. These factors include the size of the will-maker’s estate, the relationship between the will-maker and the spouse or children, the needs of the spouse or children, and any promises made by the will-maker.
Why should you contact a wills variation lawyer?
Applying for a will variation is a complex legal process. A wills variation lawyer can help you determine what evidence you need to provide the Court, help file a formal complaint and navigate important deadlines and procedures.
If you are seeking a will variation, contact us now at Nirwan Law Corporation so we can help you receive the best possible outcome. Reach us online or at 604-372-0253.