Wills And Estate Dispute Lawyer For Disinherited Spouses In Vancouver

Few things are as painful as the loss of a spouse, whether through death or separation. If you find yourself facing problems of disinheritance after your spouse's death, everything can become even more difficult.

If you are a spouse who has been disinherited, it's important to know what your rights are with respect to the will, especially as the laws have changed in many ways since the passage of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA). Those changes may affect your options, and may influence whether you choose to push for your rights in court.

Lunny Atmore LLP's lawyers will answer your questions, explain how the laws apply to your situation and help you decide the best course of action for you.

Your Spousal Rights In British Columbia

Spouses and executors need to understand some basic aspects of British Columbia's estate laws as they apply to spouses:

  • New wills: Under the old system of laws, once a person was married, his or her will was invalid unless provision was made for the new spouse. This meant that many families had to deal with intestacy, even when the deceased had made a will, simply because the new spouse was not provided for. Under WESA, this is no longer assumed. This may mean that a spouse is not provided for under the will, because the will-maker never updated his or her will after marriage.
  • The effect of separation: If you are living separate and apart for two years and intend to live apart permanently, or if you separate under family law legislation, you can be disinherited.
  • Common-law spouses: You are automatically disinherited when the relationship ends, unless the will clearly states otherwise. Complications may arise if there are questions about whether or not the relationship was at an end.
  • Deliberate cutting out of a will: Some spouses find themselves cut out of a will for a number of reasons, even if they are not separated. The courts assume that spouses should be provided for in a will, but they also assume that people should be free to leave their property to whomever they wish. You may need to go to court to fight for your right to proper compensation, especially if there were issues of undue influence from other beneficiaries, or mental instability of the will-maker.

Contact Lunny Atmore LLP

We represent disinherited spouses throughout Vancouver or surrounding areas of British Columbia. Call us at 604-259-1678 or fill out our online form to set up an appointment.