When to Challenge A Will

How Long do you Have to Contest a Will?

Process of Contesting a Will in BC

We often receive inquiries at the Kushner Law Group from unsatisfied or disinherited beneficiaries who are wondering when is the best time to challenge a will. Although many potential lawsuits are governed by a two-year limitation period, this is not the case with respect to claim being made for variation of a will.

The Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”), which is the law governing wills variation claims in British Columbia sets out specific time-lines that must be complied with if a disinherited or unsatisfied spouse or child wants to challenge a will:

Time limit & service for contesting a will in B.C.

61  1  (1) A proceeding commenced by a person claiming the benefit of this Division must not be heard by the court unless:

(a) the proceeding is commenced within 180 days from the date the representation grant is issued in British Columbia,

(b) a copy of the initiating pleading or petition has been served on the executor of the will no later than 30 days after the expiry of the 180 day period referred to in paragraph

(c) unless the court, before or after the expiration of the 30 days, extends the time for service,  and;

(d) if there are minor children of the will-maker, or if the spouse or a child of the will-maker is mentally incapable, a copy of the initiating pleading or petition has been served on the   Public Guardian and Trustee.

WESA requires wills variation actions to be commenced within 180 days from the date that the representation grant is issues. However, there is case law in British Columbia which states that the 6 month limitation period does not preclude the commencement of an action before probate is granted. It may be advisable to commence an action as soon as possible so that there is no substantial delay in beneficiaries receiving funds if the case can be settled by agreement.

Our Related Posts on BC Wills Variation:
Contact our Will Variation Lawyers in Vancouver B.C.

If you want to contest a will, or if you believe that you have been disinherited or treated unfairly in spouse or parents’ will, please contact the Kushner Law Group in Vancouver to schedule a complimentary consultation. Call 604-629-0432 or schedule a complimentary consultation online.

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