Estate Litigation

Stouffville Family Law Firm for Estate Dispute Matters

Sometimes when a family member leaves a will or dies without a will, there are problems in administering the estate or achieving a fair and equitable resolution of the estate issues. At Shariff & Associates, our lawyers are experienced advocates, representing individuals and their families in achieving positive results in estate litigation, including the passing of accounts, will challenges, the removal of executors, and generally, assisting in the administration of estates.

Each of the lawyers at Shariff & Associates are experienced litigators who have appeared before various levels of court in Ontario. Lawyer Colin Still is particularly adept at overseeing litigation involving highly complex financial matters, with over 35 years of advocacy experience. No matter what type of estate litigation you are facing, we will provide diligent and effective representation of your interests to secure the best possible outcome on your behalf.

Common Estate Litigation Issues in Ontario

There are several types of disputes that can arise in the process of administering an estate. Some of the most common include:

Will Challenges

A will can be challenged or contested by any person claiming a financial interest in the estate. Wills are challenged for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Concerns about the testator’s capacity or undue influence at the time the will was created;
  • The formal requirements of a valid will have not been met, including witness signatures, dates, or the lack of an original document; and
  • Concerns that the will does not adequately reflect provincial succession laws pertaining to dependants of the deceased, such as a spouse or children.

Challenges Regarding the Estate Trustee(s)

If one or more beneficiaries has concerns about how the appointed estate trustee is managing the estate, they may bring an application to seek that trustee’s removal. If the court finds that the trustee’s actions, or failure to act, has jeopardized the best interests of the beneficiaries or the administration of the estate, it might make an order to replace the trustee with someone else.

Claims Against an Estate Under the Family Law Act

A claim against an estate under the Family Law Act is similar to an equalization claim following a divorce or separation. If a testator fails to provide adequate support to their surviving spouse in their will, that spouse can make a claim for their rightful share of the estate under s. 5 of the Family Law Act. These claims must be made within six months of the testator’s death, and so we advise clients with a potential claim against their spouse’s estate to discuss the matter with us as soon as possible to ensure deadlines are not missed.

Contact the Family Lawyers at Shariff & Associates for Experienced Representation in Estate Litigation

Though we always advise people to execute a well-designed estate plan, and revisit the plan as needed to reflect changing circumstances, this doesn’t always happen. When a person dies intestate, or leaves behind conflicting or outdated documents, disputes can quickly take hold. When litigation becomes necessary, the lawyers at Shariff & Associates have considerable experience representing clients in a variety of estate disputes, and work to obtain the best possible result in every case. To review your matter with a member of our team, please reach out to us online, or call us at 905-591-4545.

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