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:
- The relationship between the child and the will-maker
- The size of the estate
- The contributions of the child
- Whether the child held reasonable expectations of inheritance
- The standard of living of the will-maker and child
- The gifts and benefits made by the will-maker outside of the will
- The will-maker’s reasons for disinheriting
- The financial need and other personal circumstances of the child
- The misconduct or poor character of the child
- Whether there are competing claimants and other beneficiaries
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.