WILL VARIATION IN BC
If you have been left out of a Will or feel you have been under-provided for, you can apply to the Supreme Court of British Columbia to vary a Will. Working with a qualified Estate Litigation lawyer will help you establish that “adequate provision” and “proper maintenance and support” was not met and ensure you receive all that you deserve.
Many children who were raised in close and happy family situations are often shocked to discover that they were left out of a parent’s Will. Applying to Vary a Will is one way to contest it. The Wills Variation Act allows the spouse or child of the deceased to contest a Will if he or she feels that the will does not adequately provide for him or her—and seek redistribution of the estate.
The Act allows the testator, (the person who creates the Will), to distribute property as he or she wishes, but ensures that he or she does not eliminate the legitimate claims of a spouse or children.
IMPORTANT LIMITATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS TO CONSIDER WHEN CONTESTING A WILL
You must do so within six months from the date of the grant of probate (the “grant of probate” is a legal process which once completed enables the Executor to collect and distribute the Deceased persons assets).
You must be considered an ‘eligible applicant’ or claimant, defined as: You do not need to prove any particular financial hardship in order to successfully challenge a Will (this is a recent change to the BC legislation). The court will look at all circumstances of the Estate and the applicant when making a decision, i.e. size/value of the Estate, assets passed outside the Estate, etc.
- The surviving spouse, of the same or opposite sex
- The common-law spouse (in a relationship for at least two years prior to the death)
- The child of the testator, including adopted children but not step-children, (the testator is the person who creates the Will and who is now deceased)
PROPERTY COVERED BY THE WILLS AND VARIATION ACT
- All real property (land and buildings) in BC, regardless of where the testator lived prior to his or her death;
- All personal property such as cash, securities, moveable assets, wherever located only if the testator lived in BC and intended to make BC his or her permanent home.
- Only assets that form the Estate are subject to the Act
Whether you have been completely disinherited, been given a nominal amount or have merely received a life interest in property, our Will Variation and Estate Litigation lawyers can help you dispute a will to provide properly for you under the BC Wills Variation Act.