In addition to the grief of losing a loved one, problems with the deceased's will can add costly conflict to an already difficult time. In many cases, litigating the dispute drains the inheritance in question, and that has been the case for two sisters whose father died in Ontario.
We've been following the dispute ever since a judge voided the father's will on the grounds that it was racist and violated public policy. One of the man's daughters claimed that she was disinherited because she had a biracial child. Now the Ontario Court of Appeal has reversed the lower court's decision.
So far, the lawsuit has reportedly cost the estate $100,000, and there is indication that the latest decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
At Hagel Lawfirm, we advise our clients as to whether it is in their best interest to go to court to resolve estate disputes. In general, we advise not to litigate away the estate; rather, we use negotiations, mediation and other available means to keep the conflict out of court and preserve estate assets.
In other cases, however, litigation is necessary, and we are fully prepared to take that route to protect our clients' rights and interests.
Estate disputes typically come at the worst time -- when families are already trying to cope with the loss of a loved one, and now their troubles are compounded by confusion or ambiguity in the will. If you are dealing with these issues, then don't hesitate to contact an estate litigation lawyer who can help you seek the best possible outcome and minimize the cost to the estate.