Providing Support To Disinherited Children And Spouses

A surviving spouse or the children of the testator can be excluded from a will. This is known as disinheritance. While a testator can disinherit his or her children, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) gives them the right to ask for a variance of the terms of the will. That means that they are asking the court to provide them with an adequate inheritance.

The lawyers at Vancouver-based Westside Family Law have extensive experience with family law as well as estate litigation. We intimately understand how family matters affect estate matters. As a result, we have unique insight into will variation claims and can better pursue your inheritance entitlement.

Making Adequate Provisions For Children And Spouses

Under common law, testators can exclude children and a spouse from their will if the reason is valid. However, testators have a moral responsibility to write a will that ensures the proper maintenance and support for close family members. Therefore, WESA allows a spouse or a child to challenge the terms of a will if they believe they were treated unfairly. This includes:

  • Married spouses
  • Common law spouses
  • Minor and adult children
  • Adopted children
  • Illegitimate children

The judge will examine a number of factors to determine what proper provisions means for a spouse or a child. Those factors can include:

  • The size of the estate
  • Whether the child is a minor or an adult
  • The financial situation of the child or spouse
  • The relationship between the testator and the child

Do I Have A Valid Claim?

Despite the moral responsibility of testators to make adequate provisions, they can disinherit a spouse or children if there is a good and rational reason. For instance, if a child and his or her parent were estranged for a long period of time, that may qualify as a valid reason. However, every case is judged on its own merits and it is advisable to get the opinion of an estate litigation lawyer to determine the validity of a claim.

Westside Family Law can assist you in determining whether you have a valid variation claim. We will speak to you, determine the facts of your situation, walk you through the law and explain how the facts apply to the law. We will then give you a frank opinion on whether your case has a chance at succeeding.

Schedule An Appointment With Us

Our estate litigation lawyers can help you challenge the validity of a testator's will if you are a spouse or child that was disinherited. Contact us through our online form or call 604-800-8853.