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When can a will be challenged?

A challenge to a Will can be fraught with emotional difficulties that impact personal and business relationships. Yet there are a variety of valid reasons for challenging a Will and it’s important to understand these reasons before commencing a Will challenge.

Some of the reasons for challenging a Will include:

  • The person making the Will may have been unduly influenced into making a Will which does not reflect his/her intentions.
  • The person making the Will may have lacked the capacity to make a Will. The law sets out minimum standards of capacity at the time of making a Will.
  • The Will may be a product of fraud. The Will may be a forgery or, although properly signed, the person signing may have been misled as to what was being executed.
  • The testator may have failed to take into consideration his or her obligation to dependants.
  • Provincial law requires that individuals to whom the deceased had financial or moral obligations be adequately provided for.
  • There may be suspicious circumstances surrounding the creation of the Will. The Will’s validity may be challenged, for example, if the testator did not know and approve its contents.
  • The will may not have been properly executed. In Ontario, for a Will to be valid, it must either be wholly in the handwriting of the testator (holograph Will) or must be signed by the testator while in the presence of two witnesses (who each must sign the Will while in the presence of the testator). If the Will has not been signed and witnessed properly, the Will may be invalid.

Our estates litigation team is ready to help you. To consult with a member of our firm confidentially, please  email us or call 877-612-1123.