Losing a loved one is understandably a very difficult and emotional time for most Ontario residents. Unfortunately, whenever there are disputes that occur in the aftermath of a loved one's passing, this can ratchet up tension and stress to unimaginable levels.
Wills are an important part of the estate planning equation, and they are intended to allow for a smooth transition as one's final wishes are preserved. However, there are times when you may feel that some of the provisions in a will are not legally justified - so much so, that you may actually want to contest or challenge the will.
Last year, a CIBC report indicated that an estimated $750 billion in assets is expected to pass into the hands of baby boomers over the next decade. That's a lot of wealth transferred - in fact, the largest expected in Canadian history. Yet, before the windfall, many families are likely to weather storms as disputes arise between heirs over the distributions. If you're an adult child, then a recent BMO report may serve as a good wakeup call, signalling the wisdom of advance planning and communication with both your siblings and parents.
A will is a legally documented instruction of a person's specific orders for the distribution of his or her assets upon death. If a person believes the will of a family member or a friend does not reflect the deceased person's true final wishes, he or she may be entitled to bring a will challenge. However, this is a complicated field of estate law, and pursuing this particular type of legal proceeding often requires legal guidance.
Family members who were left out of a deceased individual's will or who were apportioned a smaller share than they believe they are entitled to may consider contesting a will.