Estate & Trusts Litigation

In circumstances where the estate or trust disagreements occur, things can become challenging and difficult to deal with. repair. At this time, you need legal advice from experienced and knowledgeable Estate Lawyers to help resolve the situation and protect your legal interests. Pickford & Associate Lawyers have impressively managed individuals, corporations, and trust companies in their estate or trust litigation cases.

In Ontario, Estate Litigation has become very common. Some situations that lead to estate litigation include but are not limited to:

  • Large complex estates;
  • Unequal treatment of siblings in a will;
  • Disposing of sentimental properties such as cottages;
  • Improper provision made for dependents of the testator;
  • Massive changes in a will by the testator;
  • Testator not possessing testamentary capacity;
  • Second spouse in disagreement or conflict with children of the first marriage;
  • Executors not chosen properly.

At Pickford & Associate Lawyers, our team is committed to providing you with the most reasonable and efficient solutions. Our full-service law firm capabilities enable you to gain valuable legal counsel in all areas of the law including wealth and tax management.

Dependable Support Claims

A testator is a person who makes their own will and has to comply with specific dependent-related responsibilities. As per the Ontario Act, testators have a responsibility to provide for their dependents in their will. If a dependent is not provided for, they can file a Dependent Support Claim to claim their share.

A person who was being provided for by the deceased is dependent. The dependent can also be a person who is obligated to receive support from the deceased.

As per the Act, any dependent can file a dependent support claim to enforce their rights. Such a step has substantial operational and financial implications, and it is vital for trustees and executors to be aware of them. A testator can choose the beneficiaries of his/ her estate.

Estate Litigation

Litigation over wills and estates can occur due to many reasons. Precise standards and criteria with laid down practices have to be followed for all valid wills. In the absence of a clear and valid will, the estate can be prosecuted by any person.

When any family member applies to the court to decide on the enforcement of their claim or right, it is part of Estate Litigation. It involves dealing with deceased estates. Compensation applications for any actions which have adversely affected estate value are also included under Estate Litigation.

In many circumstances, making court applications is the only way to get estate issues resolved. Estate Planning done in a comprehensive manner can help avoid future disputes. Though estate litigation cannot be avoided entirely, careful planning and organization can significantly minimize its extent.

Family Act Law Claims

An estate typically passes as per a will, partial intestacy, or complete intestacy. The surviving spouse may elect not to accept what is provided either in the will or under the intestacy and to instead require an equalization of the assets of the respective spouses, similar to what would have been done in case of a separation or divorce.

On choosing the entitlement from net family property equalization, the spouse needs to make sure that all mandatory requirements are complied with within six months of the deceased’s death.
Typically, the spouse requests an extension if they lack sufficient information to make a proper decision in the allotted time.

Passing Of Accounts

The passing of accounts by an estate executor or trustee is an extremely technical process. Court approval may be needed for the executor before they can administer the estate. The executor also has personal liability for any improper conduct related to the management of the estate’s assets.

The trustee needs to record and track estate accounts as per the law. Accounts can be assessed when any estate beneficiary challenges the actions of the estate trustee by obtaining a court order. Under these circumstances, the court can order the trustee to pass accounts. The executor’s alleged misconduct can also result in the passing of an account if one of the parties moves to remove the executor.

Unopposed Passing of Accounts occurs in certain circumstances when all beneficiaries are competent adults, and no objections are present at their end. The judge approves the accounts once all the parties have principally agreed to them and do not review accounts.

Solicitor’s Negligence

In Wills and Estate Cases, claims may arise against solicitors due to negligence. Though the reasons for these claims are limited only by the imagination of the claimant, there are a few issues that re-occur.

Lawyers in Canada have certain laid-down standards of conduct and professionalism that they are bound to follow. They need to make sure all their clients receive a certain standard of care at all times. However, sometimes their bad advice or failure to take all the necessary steps and precautions may cause the intended beneficiaries of an estate financial or other harm.

Will Challenges & Defending A Will

A will can be contested if a beneficiary believes that the will does not reflect the deceased’s true intentions either due to fraud, duress, undue influence, or forgery. If you wish to contest or challenge the will’s validity, you can do it if you have an interest in the estate either under the will or in intestacy.

Application for contesting a will is made to the court where the will is being deposited or probated. If you get disinherited from a will, obtaining legal guidance is vital.

Will Interpretation

Any ambiguous and unclear provisions in the will can lead to Will interpretation issues. If the provisions of the will create suspicion as to the Testator’s (person making the will) intentions, any of the beneficiaries may challenge the will. The beneficiary can also challenge a will if they are dissatisfied with the Executor’s (person administering the estate) will interpretation.

How We Can Help

At Pickford & Associate Lawyers, our experienced Wills and Estate Lawyers understand your specific circumstances and provide tailored and customized solutions for each of them.

Our Mississauga Wills and Estate Lawyers are available for a no-obligation free initial consultation. Come and experience our quality legal counsel and the personalized care we give to each client. We ensure prompt communication and a professional approach to achieve successful outcomes for you.

Feel comfortable interacting with our caring team who speak more than 15 languages like English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Albanian, Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, and much more.


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