Today, disputes between beneficiaries and executors are becoming the norm rather than the exception.
Estate Litigation handles disputes among family members, friends and others in relation to wills and estates. Disputes over wills or the management of estates and trusts have existed for as long as the law recognized a right to make a will or set up a trust. The most common cause of a delay in closing an estate is the inability of executors to agree. Many times there are also multiple beneficiaries with conflicting interests. Emotions can run high.
Why do you need an Estate Litigation Lawyer?
Disputes between family members are common when dealing with an estate. When a dispute arises that cannot be resolved between the parties involved, there may be a need to seek legal advice to resolve the issue. We are able to advise and represent you on issues that arise, including:
- If you are a spouse, common-law spouse or child and you believe the will is unfair and want to challenge it;
- If you are a spouse, common-law spouse or child and you believe that the will does not adequately provide for you;
- If the executor does not file for probate;
- If there is a delay in managing the estate;
- If you wish to remove the executor due to illegal activity or misrepresentation;
- If you have been unfairly excluded or disinherited from the will;
- If the will is ambiguous or unclear and there are issues interpreting it;
- If you are concerned that the will is invalid because it was not signed or witnessed properly;
- If you are concerned there were suspicious circumstances surrounding the creation of the will;
- If you believe the will was created when the person was mentally incapable or lacked the mental capacity.
Although we’ve listed examples of issues that may arise, each situation is unique. It is best to seek legal advice to answer your questions and determine your options.
How We Can Help
Our Estate Litigation Team has significant experience in presenting wills for proof in solemn form. We also prepare wills and have experience testifying on issues of capacity or formalities. We have appeared in most of Nova Scotia’s Courts on behalf of executors and administrators. Our Estates Litigation Team also offers a mediation-like alternative to formal court proceedings; we will assume a neutral role to mediate resolutions between parties and resolve the most contentious disputes.
Sometimes an issue will arise during the course of an estate administration that requires the skill of a practitioner in other areas of law. Among the lawyers at BOYNECLARKE LLP are those who practice business law, tax law, intellectual property law as well as many other relevant fields. We are able to call on these resources when issues arise concerning the ownership of company shares, taxation of assets on death, and the law governing ownership of all the forms an estate asset may take.