What Happens if You are Disinherited?

Wills | May 28, 2019

Understanding what happens if you are disinherited can help you determine the best way to dispute your disinheritance. At Linley Welwood, we know how shocking being disinherited can be. That is why our team of professional lawyers will work hard to help you get the inheritance you deserve.

What are the legal grounds for contesting a will?

Challenging a Disinheritance

If you have been recently disinherited from a will, you may be able to make a legal claim for your inheritance. Since someone making a will in BC is required by law to adequately provide for their spouse and children, the will maker would need both valid and rational reasons for disinheriting a family member. Some common reasons for being disinherited that can be disputed include:

Being Disinherited for Untrue Reasons

In some cases, someone may try to disinherit a spouse or child based on untrue reasons, such as imagined drug addictions or criminal histories, the mistaken belief that a child or spouse is very wealthy, or the belief that someone is conspiring to steal from the will maker’s possessions. Untrue reasons for disinheriting a spouse or child can be easily disproved by an experienced lawyer.

Being Disinherited for Reasons Against Canadian Social Values

Even if you have been disinherited for a true and rational reason, you may still be able to challenge your disinheritance if you were disinherited for a reason that goes against modern Canadian social values. This means that a court will not uphold the will of a parent who disinherited a child for their sexual orientation or for marrying someone of a different race, religion, or nationality. Disinheriting someone based on cultural norms, such as only providing for sons and excluding daughters, can also be overturned by a court.

Should you hire an estate planning attorney?

What Happens if You are Not Mentioned in a Will?

Accidental disinheritance or not being mentioned in a will is not the same as actually being disinherited. If you have a valid legal claim to be an heir to an estate, such as being the spouse or child of the deceased, the court will often proceed on the assumption that the deceased intended to leave you something.

Do You Need a Lawyer if You Have Been Disinherited?

If you believe that you have been wrongfully disinherited, you should consult with a lawyer right away. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you properly challenge your disinheritance, giving the best chance at receiving something from the estate.

Learn all about estate litigation. 

If you would like to learn more about what happens if you are disinherited, or if you are interested in our legal services for wills, estates, and trusts, please contact Linley Welwood at 604-850-6640 or by filling out a contact form on our website.

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