Estate litigation is a tumultuous time for your family. Even with a detailed estate planning strategy, it’s a challenge to inoculate yourself from estate disputes as they are very personal in nature. Typically, such litigations arise when a loved one has recently passed.
Estate litigation occurs when, for instance, family members are in disagreement on any issue relating to a Will or Power of Attorney. The disputes usually pertain to:
- The testator not having had the ability to draft the Will when they gave instructions to the lawyer.
- The testator having been unduly influenced to draft the Will in a way they would not have done normally.
- The executor having failed to properly administer the estate.
When you hire a qualified and experienced estate litigation lawyer in Toronto, you will have access to a world of benefits. At Duensing Law, we advise executors, administrators and trustees of the estate on their fiduciary responsibilities. Our area of expertise includes;
- Will, estate and trust challenges and interpretations
If a will or PoA contains ambiguous provisions, the executor may need to seek out a qualified lawyer so as to protect themselves from personal liability. Not contacting an estate lawyer, in this case, could lead to a protracted and expensive dispute.
- Dependent support claims
This is usually made by the dependent of the deceased against the latter’s estate. Here, a lawyer will help determine if you qualify as a dependent as per the Succession Law Reform Act. The lawyer also helps ensure that all relevant limitations are complied with so that your rights as a dependent are fully secured.
- Spousal rights
There are a couple of categories of spouses; first marriage, second or subsequent marriage, common-law, separated or divorced. Each of these comes with their own specifications and rights – some of which may be hard for a layperson to navigate through during a contentious estate litigation, calling for the intervention of an experienced lawyer.
- Power of Attorney disputes
A Power of Attorney can either be personal care or property related. This document must be properly drafted and comes into effect after it is signed by the grantor or at a later point when the grantor is deemed to not have the capacity to manage their affairs anymore. There may be instances where the attorney abuses their power, giving rise to estate litigation issues, whereupon you will need a lawyer with sound knowledge of estate law.
- Executor negligence
You may need to remove the executor of the estate for a number of reasons. These usually stem from misappropriation of funds, gross misconduct or failure to maintain records. Seeking legal advice at this stage is crucial as the process of removing an executor has to be approached carefully.
- Passing of fiduciary accounts
When an estate trustee undertakes the passing of accounts, they are bound by law to follow a very strict procedure. Beneficiaries may challenge the trustee’s actions in handling said accounts if they so see fit. At such a juncture, an estate lawyer can provide valuable insights to ease the process for all parties involved.
- Guardianship issues
A person who lacks the capacity to manage their affairs requires a guardian who then undertakes to make personal and financial decisions on their behalf. Guardianship disputes are one of the most emotionally challenging disputes in estate law, and usually arise when there is a question as to the said capacity of the person. These disputes typically call for advanced and precise knowledge of the law.
The Benefits of Having a Lawyer By Your Side
Going down this path alone is fraught with challenges. As a layperson, you won’t have the know-how to tackle a wily executor or detect a legal loophole that could work in your favour. And seeing as estate administration matters hold such grave importance, why phone them in? What you need is affordable legal help to settle these estate disputes for you.
When you hire a lawyer who brings with them a wealth of knowledge in estate litigation, guardianship, and trusts – well, that’s half the battle won right there! Typically, you need to be on the lookout for someone who has represented clients in a range of complex legal issues and isn’t afraid to pit their wits against challenging cases that other firms may choose to stay away from.
At Duensing Law, we are one of the few practices in Ontario that come with formidable courtroom experience, regularly appearing at all levels of court. Our collective expertise is unrivalled and we use this to navigate you through the intricate legal framework. We craft creative litigation strategies to acquire the most favourable outcome on your behalf.
Embroiled in Estate Litigation? We’re Right Here to Help!
Duensing Law assists in the prevention and resolution of litigation matters with experience and professionalism. We will closely work with you at every step of the estate litigation process to protect your interests throughout.
Contact us today for affordable legal intervention for all your estate matters.
Kindly note that this content is intended to serve as general information and not legal advice.