Helping surviving spouses and children receive the proper support they deserve
How property will be distributed following a death is generally left to the discretion of the testator when they draft their will. Testators do, however, have a moral and legal obligation to fairly consider providing adequate support for spouses and children when drafting their wills. Regardless of this duty, many situations arise in which a surviving spouse or child realizes that they were wrongfully disinherited after their family member has died. Fortunately, the law does provide recourse for those who do not receive fair support or fair inheritance under a will in the British Columbia Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA). If you believe you may have a case under WESA , you should consult with an experienced disinheritance and wills variations lawyer at McLarty Wolf as soon as possible.
Applications under WESA can be complicated and emotional
Under WESA, disinherited spouses and children may apply to have the courts vary the provisions of a will in a manner the courts believe to be just and equitable. The courts may consider many different factors when deciding whether to vary a will, including the following:
- The nature of the testator’s relationship with the spouse or child
- Whether the spouse or child provided adequate care for the testator
- Whether the testator gave the spouse of child significant assistance or gifts during their life
- Misconduct on the part of the spouse or child
- Promises made to the spouse or child
- Whether the testator’s intentions in the will seem rational
- The needs and standard of living of the spouse or child
- The size and nature of the estate
As you can imagine, the court will often have to delve into personal and emotional issues regarding the familial relationships and examine complex and sometimes contradictory evidence. For these reasons and more, the assistance of a skilled lawyer is imperative during the wills variation process.
If you need help, contact an experienced British Columbia wills variation lawyer today
Whether or not to file an application for a wills variation can be a difficult decision. Emotions are often understandably high when you believe you have been wrongfully disinherited, so you should always discuss your situation with an experienced lawyer who can provide a knowledgeable and objective opinion on your best course of action. Please call the Vancouver office of McLarty Wolf today at 604-688-9542 for help.