Near Red Deer, Alberta
Are you wondering what will happen to a loved one’s estate after death? During this time of mourning, family members and loved ones must turn their attention to the practical side of ensuring that the wishes of the deceased are carried out. Estate litigation lawyers can help you wade through what can often become contentious, complex estate and trust disputes.
Estate litigation is one of the most complex aspects of the legal system. It refers to the legal process of understanding how an estate will be divided between beneficiaries. While a case may seem simple because a loved one has left a will behind, it’s very common for disputes to arise about who has legal rights to assets. In addition to being legally complex, these disputes are often emotionally charged. Litigation lawyers can help to smooth out the process of settling an estate by handling:
At Davie & Associates, we’ve helped countless clients get the necessary legal help to interpret the intentions of the deceased. Our Alberta and British Columbia estate litigation lawyers provide cost-effective, personalized legal solutions to help you understand your rights while dealing with a host of family dynamics. Our team will help you understand your options at every step to provide the best route for protecting your interests based on the rights the law affords you.
Will disputes are extremely common. It’s even possible for will disputes to arise in situations where the deceased carefully and thoughtfully had a will professionally prepared by an attorney. Questions are often raised in situations where the will was prepared several years before death. Some family members or potential beneficiaries may raise questions regarding the lawfulness of the provisions in the will due to the amount of time that passed between document origination and the originator’s death. This is most common when heirs of the deceased are ignored in a will.
Capacity is also frequently called into question during will disputes. Can it be proven that the deceased had the capacity to understand the decisions being made when creating a will? Could there have been an improper influence during the creation of the will? The Davie & Associates team represents clients on all sides of these disputes.
There are several avenues to be used for challenging a will. First, technical issues can sometimes invalidate a will in the eyes of the law. This can include:
Even “pristine” wills can sometimes be subject to challenges. As mentioned above, the mental clarity of the deceased at the time of the signing of the will can be called into question. Under the law, it’s necessary for an individual to have a certain degree of mental clarity when signing a will. The person signing the will must understand the scope of their assets, be aware that assets are being assigned to people, and be able to identify the beneficiaries being named in the document. Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other capacity-reducing conditions can potentially make a will’s contents invalid.
Coercion is another factor that can invalidate a will. Signing a will under either duress or undue influence could cause a will to be thrown out. If a person was forced to sign a will, the law views the will as not expressing the genuine wishes of the deceased. There are very specific technical requirements for what can prove that a person signed a will while under external pressure. An estate litigation lawyer can go through the details and circumstances of the will in question with you to help you determine if there’s a legal case for invalidating the will.
Rest assured that other parties with interest in the fate of a loved one’s estate are already taking action to protect their claims to assets. It’s in your best interest to seek legal guidance right away if you have concerns about estate distribution. Davie & Associates is a law firm experienced in estate litigation. We can help you handle all aspects of challenging, defending, and enforcing a will. Serving clients throughout Alberta and British Columbia, we have offices located in Penticton, Edmonton, and Red Deer. Contact us now for an initial consultation.