What Can You Do If You Have Been Disinherited?

Can a Disinherited Spouse or Child Change a Will in BC?   

Yes, even if the will-maker intended to cut them out, the Court can decide to award them an inheritance.  The Court can also change the size of an inheritance to give them a bigger share than what they were left in a will.

Who Can Apply to Change a Will?

Biological or adopted children (minors or adult) and spouses (married, common law and same-sex) of the will-maker can apply. Step-children and other family members cannot apply.

When Do You Have to Apply to Change a Will? 

Quickly! You must apply within 180 days of the grant of probate or you lose your right to challenge a will.

How Does the Court Decide Whether to Change a Will?

The Court decides based on whether the will-maker provided enough for their spouse and children.  The Court considers these things with respect to children:

  1. The relationship between the child and the will-maker
  2. The size of the estate
  3. The contributions of the child
  4. Whether the child held reasonable expectations of inheritance
  5. The standard of living of the will-maker and child
  6. The gifts and benefits made by the will-maker outside of the will
  7. The will-maker’s reasons for disinheriting
  8. The financial need and other personal circumstances of the child
  9. The misconduct or poor character of the child
  10. Whether there are competing claimants and other beneficiaries
  11. What assets were given to the child outside of the will

Do I Have to Go to Court to Change a Will?

Not necessarily. The people inheriting under a will sometimes consent to an out-of-court settlement.  A lawyer can negotiate a settlement for you or arrange for a mediation, which can save money and stress for everyone.

How Can I Pay a Lawyer? 

If you were disinherited, our firm may agree to be paid a percentage of the settlement or court outcome if we win for you, rather than receiving money up-front.

If you are the executor and you need help to defend against a claim by a disinherited spouse or child, or if you should have inherited something under a will, we can advise and represent you.  Call us to discuss our fees.

You can discuss it with us at 778-475-8444 or info@martinestate.ca.