Wills Variation Act Claims

As your full service wills and estates lawyers, AMJ LAW provides legal services pursuing and defending Wills Variation Act claims.

Wills and estates disputes within families can be difficult and stressful and our law firm can assist you in providing early legal advice before further and irreparable damage is done to family relations.

Our law firm will assist you in settling and if necessary, bringing to trial or defending your Wills Variation Act claims, whether you have been disinherited by your parent, left out of a will by your spouse or are being sued under the Wills Variation Act as an executor or beneficiary under a will.

The Wills Variation Act is legislation in British Columbia which allows spouses and children to make claims against a deceased spouse or parent’s estate for not making adequate provision for their maintenance and support.  If a claimant can prove this, then the court may make an order for a provision that it thinks adequate, just and equitable for the spouse or children out of the estate.  There must be a valid will before the Act applies.

Spouses who may apply under the Wills Variation Act include married, separated and common law spouses.  Both birth and adopted children can apply under the Wills Variation Act.

The Wills Variation Act may be used to ensure that legal and moral obligations are fulfilled to a surviving spouse or child.  If not, a court may vary the will to provide for that spouse or child.  If a parent disinherits a child in a will, the Wills Variation Act can be used to change that will if the reasons the child was disinherited were not valid and rational.

Various factors will determine the amount to which a child or spouse may be entitled from the estate, such as the financial circumstances or any disability of the surviving spouse or child, the size of the estate, gifts made by the deceased outside of the will, and competing claims against the estate by others.

There is a six month limitation period to start a Wills Variation Act claim.  This means that a spouse or child must start an action within six months of the date probate, grant of administration with will annexed or an order sealing a grant issued in another jurisdiction.  In most circumstances, if an action is not started within the limitation period, the claim will be extinguished, which means that you can no longer make a claim under the Wills Variation Act.