Owning a family business anywhere, including here in British Columbia, requires a great deal of work and dedication. Over the years, the needs of the business could change many times, and it could experience ups and downs. Other family members may pitch in and make valuable contributions to the family business that help make it a success. When the owner passes away, those family members may expect to see a larger inheritance as compensation for the unpaid work put into the company.
Perhaps you were the only one of your siblings to contribute to the family business, yet all of you received the same inheritance. If you are in this position, and you did not receive the inheritance you expected to due to the work you put into the family business, you may have legal options. Even though your siblings may deserve to receive a share of your parent's estate, you may be entitled to more.
In fact, the law does recognize that some family members deserve a larger portion of an estate in proportion to their contributions to the family business. You will more than likely need to address the issue with the court. The strength of the evidence and testimony you provide will affect the outcome.
Providing a British Columbia court with the appropriate evidence of your contributions to the family business may not be quite as easy as you think. Making your case properly the first time will save you and the estate time and money. For this reason, having a lawyer experienced in estate litigation as your advocate could help ensure a smooth and successful process.