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Preparing for wills and estates litigation in blended families

A large number of British Columbia families consist of blended families. Subsequent marriages, children from a prior marriage and children of the current marriage may all exist together as one big family. In a perfect world, everyone would have an equal footing, but that is not always the case. After the passing of a spouse and parent, the situation can become quite complex, and some of them may decide that wills and estates litigation is the only way to express their dissatisfaction with the arrangements made by the deceased.

Perhaps you are the second spouse, and your loved one failed to provide for you in his or her will. In the alternative, you may be the first child of the deceased from a previous marriage and you notice that your parent failed to leave you an inheritance. The fact is that you may actually be entitled to a different share of the estate.

An evaluation of the legal and moral circumstances could reveal that you did not receive the appropriate share of the estate. Factors to examine include how your loved one acquired the assets of the estate, the length of the marriage at death and any contributions you may have made to the decedent's assets during his or her life. Then the total value of the estate and the property that passed to someone outside of the will require scrutiny.

Conducting such an investigation is not always easy. These situations can become complex. In addition, you will need to take your concerns to the court. As part of the wills and estates litigation process, you will need to provide the court with evidence to back up your position. If a British Columbia court rules in your favour, you could receive the inheritance you deserve.

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