When a loved one passes away, there is so much to do and final affairs to take care of. At the time, you may not be thinking clearly about what is going on and so you might be least concerned about your loved one’s will or final wishes. Now that it’s been a while and you’ve had time to think about it, you want to talk about what’s really in their will and potentially dispute it if there is a conflict. So, when is it too late to do this? Here’s some more information about what you need to know about disputing a will.
What constitutes a valid challenge to a will?
The purpose of a will is to make sure that the final wishes of the deceased person are carried out as much as possible. If you believe that the person was not of sound mind or that they were somehow incapacitated when they made their will, it could be grounds for challenging the will.
You may also have concerns if there is some dishonesty or incompetency in the way that the executor is handling the estate as well. You may want to seek independent legal advice to see if you have sufficient evidence for challenging the will.
Where do you go if you want to contest a will?
In Canada, each province will have its own rules and regulations regarding wills and estates. You will need to seek assistance in the province where the deceased person lived, and you can gain legal advice there as well.
It can become more complicated if the deceased person owned property in another country, of course, but start by seeking counsel in the province which was the deceased person’s primary residence.
Who can contest a will?
The laws state that anyone who may appear to have a financial interest in the estate can contest a will. This can include anyone who could inherit something or have financial gain by the outcome of the estate.
Can you contest who is the executor of the will?
Being the executor of a will is a big responsibility. The executor has to make sure that they execute the will as the deceased person wanted them to. If they make a mistake in their responsibilities, then they could be facing financial penalties. If you think the executor is being unfair or dishonest, you can file an application to have them removed as the executor.
How long do you have to contest or dispute a will?
In Ontario, along with almost all the other provinces, there is a general limit of 2 years to file a complaint. This two years is not two years after the person passes away, it is two years from the date that when reasonable grounds for the challenge were discovered. It is usually the date when people are informed of the contents of the will and what it states.
You may discover years later that the executor purposely concealed information or was dishonest about the will, you can challenge the will within 2 years of the date you discovered this information.
Contact Minhas Lawyers today
If you believe that you have grounds to dispute a will, it is important to get the process started as quickly as possible. Contact us today to speak to one of our estate lawyers. We will book your consultation with our estate lawyer and they will review the relevant documentation, determining what legal course is available to you. Give Minhas Lawyers LLP a call today!
Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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