It takes a lot of careful planning to see to the allocation of even a modest estate in Ontario. Wills are the primary tools of estate planning, and they make plain the testators final wishes. However, should the family of the deceased find they were left out of the plans, they may choose to take the issue to court. A large estate is now under attack from several disgruntled descendants claiming an unjust denial of their inheritance.
At dispute is the distribution of an estate valued at approximately $57 million. The decedent passed away in Jan. 2016 and left his third wife as the executrix and sole beneficiary of his estate. His three adult children from his first marriage filed a suit against the estate in a provincial Supreme Court on Feb. 7, 2017 in British Columbia.
In their claim, all three children allege their father was physically and emotionally abusive to them during their childhood. They further allege that their father estranged one of the three children after she confronted him about the abuse, a situation that remained until his death. Additionally, they claim the decedent fraudulently transferred his estate to his third wife in order to ensure none of them inherited anything. The group seeks damages.
Wills have the power to bring families together, or to tear them apart. Whether one is preparing a will, administering an estate, or disputing an inheritance, it may be beneficial to have professional assistance to get the job done properly. A dedicated lawyer with experience handling estate law cases in Ontario can help, regardless of the situation.
Source: CBC News - British Columbia, "Battle of will: Local family fights over $57M estate", Karin Larsen, Feb. 24, 2017