Legal Solutions During Family Estrangement

Family relationships are often complicated. These complex histories often result in specific bequests to family members in a will, trust or other testamentary document. In British Columbia, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act governs how wills are interpreted, and when a court has the authority to intervene and make changes.

Although people generally have an obligation to support certain family members, such as spouses and children, they may choose not to do so for specific reasons. At Swadden & Company, our team of Vancouver lawyers can help you understand your legal options if estrangement has affected your family and beneficiaries are unhappy with a will.

If there has been an unequal division of an estate due to family neglect or undue influence, contact us. We will discuss your concerns in confidence. Call us at 604-901-2260 in Vancouver, or toll free at 800-639-9080 to make an appointment or contact us online.

Legal Aspects Of Unequal Will Distribution

We encourage people who believe a will is unfair to contact us, to see if they may be able to make a legal claim. Many factors come into play when a court decides whether or not to vary a will. If a testator decides to completely exclude one member of the family, this may be upheld — in particular if the deceased person takes the time to explain why. If a child has been long estranged from the family and the testator feels there is no moral obligation to support, a court may uphold this and deny any claim for variance.

On the other hand, all will dispositions are subject to independent analysis. It is possible that family estrangement has caused one child to take improper advantage of a parent, and exert undue influence on how the will is written. These issues are complicated, sensitive and go to the heart of family relationships. However, with the proper counsel of our legal team, you will have the information and support you need to decide how to proceed.