It is not uncommon for individuals who are the beneficiaries of a will or those who believe that they have been unfairly excluded from a will to consider contesting the will’s validity. While, under BC law,1 wills that are otherwise valid can be challenged or failing to provide adequate provision for the testator’s spouse or children, a will’s validity itself can be attacked as well. Some of the more common grounds under which a will can be challenged are detailed below. For information or advice regarding a specific case, call our office today.
- Lack of mental capacity on the part of the testator – A person who makes a will must be aware of the fact that he or she is making a will, be aware of the property at issue, understand what he or she was giving and to whom, and be free from a mental defect that could affect his or her judgment regarding these kinds of issues. These kinds of challenges to a will are common when people make a will later in life or when they are in the early stages of an illness that may affect their judgment.
- Undue influence – In some cases, there may be evidence that the terms of person’s will were the result of the coercion or overbearing nature of another person and that they do not accurately reflect the wishes of the testator. When this is the case, a will’s validity may be challenged for undue influence.2
- Due execution – In order to be valid, a will must comply with certain legal formalities, including the fact that the will must be in writing, signed by the testator or at the testator’s direction, the signature must be made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two witnesses who are both present, the witnesses must sign the will, and the testator must be at least 19. There are specific provisions for members of the armed forces, so always check with a lawyer regarding the validity of your will.
Contact a Vancouver estate litigation lawyer today to discuss your options
If you are considering disputing the validity of a will, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to determine whether you have a case. To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Vancouver estate litigation lawyers, call McLarty Wolf today at 644-688-9542 or send us an email through our online contact form.