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Wills and Estates Litigation Archives

How an estate executor may mishandle firearms in an estate

The executor of an estate has many serious responsibilities following the death of the estate owner. Often, individuals name an adult child to handle the duties of estate executor, and this is not always the most prudent decision. One situation that may prove volatile is if the owner of the estate was in possession of firearms. British Columbia law is very strict about how executors must deal with firearms in an estate, and failing to follow these rules may lead to legal trouble.

Using mediation to solve estate disputes and preserve families

After the death of a loved one, family members may run into any number of conflicts while closing out the estate. If the loved one left an estate plan, it may contain questionable instructions, but having no will can leave even more confusion. When there are disputes, it is common for heirs to seek a more peaceful resolution, such as mediation, rather than dragging their family members through court.

B.C. law limits those who wish to challenge a will

If a loved one dies and leaves behind a will, the deceased likely expects the will to convey his or her desires for the distribution of the estate. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Occasionally, the heirs to a British Columbia estate dispute the contents of a will, especially when the amount of inheritance is much lower than they expected or they are omitted from the will altogether. When this happens, they may question whether they have the right to challenge a will and how to start the process.

Did your loved one choose the right executor?

When British Columbia residents create their estate plans, one task is to choose someone to handle the administration of the estate after death. There are some laws regarding who can serve as an executor, but otherwise, the choice belongs to the person creating the will. It should be someone the testator trusts and believes can do the job. It should also be someone who wants to take on the responsibilities. 

Wills can avoid disputes over ownership of assets

In many British Columbia families, there may be certain assets that are cherished and coveted by more than one person. A business owner, for example, may have several children who aspire to take over the company at some point, or a mother may own a precious piece of jewelry that two daughters each hope to inherit. When estate owners fail to make wills to stipulate how to divide their property, they may leave their families struggling to resolve these matters, potentially in court.

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.

1 unexpected issue that may lead to wills and estates litigation

When British Columbia residents pass away, someone needs to carry out the plans they made to provide for those they loved. Executors know they have certain duties to complete, but what they may not expect is certain obstacles to completing their tasks. Some circumstances could result in wills and estates litigation.

Make sure to understand the duties of an executor before probate

When a British Columbia resident with a will dies, certain tasks must be completed in order to close the estate. Those responsibilities fall to the person named as executor. Failing to complete the tasks -- and complete them properly -- could cause issues for that person. For this reason, it would be a good idea to understand the duties to be carried about prior to starting the probate.

A child may need representation in wills and estates litigation

Providing for minor children is often one of the primary reasons that British Columbia parents make arrangements to take care of them in case the parents die. When parents pass leaving children behind, they are helpless to protect their own interests during any wills and estates litigation. They cannot legally advocate for themselves or even hold property.

Estate litigation is not always necessary or the best option

The death of a loved one can either bring a British Columbia family together or cause contention. When the process of settling the estate results in confrontations, questions and suspicions, the parties involved may consider estate litigation. However, that may not always be the best option or even be necessary.

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