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How Do Alberta Courts Resolve Estate Litigation Issues?

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Unfortunately, a will can be contested for many reasons, leading to estate litigation disputes. Estate litigation can be costly and time-consuming for family members and other beneficiaries who have an interest in the will.

Canadian courts take any allegations of fraud or wrongdoing seriously and will work diligently to ensure all legal requirements regarding estates are upheld. If you are involved in an estate litigation issue, hiring an experienced lawyer who can fight for your rights is in your best interest.

Contact our law firm to learn more about how we may be able to help you resolve your legal issue. Our well-qualified lawyers can review your case and determine available legal options.

What is Estate Litigation?

Estate litigation disputes typically result when one or multiple individuals contest how the executor is administering the estate. Sadly, estate litigation disputes are far more common than most people realize.

Aside from being upset at how the executor manages the estate’s affairs, family members are frequently upset because they have been left out of the will or beneficiaries are unhappy about the assets left to them in the will.

At this point, the individual making the claim can file legal paperwork with the court where they state their reason for challenging the will.

The case may then proceed through the legal system until the issue is resolved. However, it is critical that individuals understand that contesting a will is expensive and time-consuming and does not necessarily result in a change.

What Are the Most Common Issues That Lead to Estate Litigation Disputes?

Several common issues can lead to estate litigation issues. Some of the most frequently reported include:

  • Family dynamics: Often, family issues play a significant role in disputes about how an estate should be divided among heirs. For example, a family member who has been cut out of the will may file a claim disputing the validity of a will.
  • Family law issues: If the decedent owed debts for unpaid alimony or child support, they must still be paid even after their death. These debts often lead to legal challenges against the estate.
  • Outdated wills: If a will has not been updated since the testator divorced, remarried, or some other significant life event occurred, legal issues can quickly arise where other beneficiaries challenge the will’s validity.
  • Probate: In some instances, a will must be probated, causing delays for the beneficiaries, who may become impatient waiting for matters to be resolved.
  • Administrative errors: If the executor has made an error or is believed to have a conflict of interest, other family members often ask to remove that individual from handling the estate’s affairs.

How Can an Executor Protect Themselves Against Legal Disputes?

Being named an executor of an estate can be an overwhelming task. Often family members or others who have been named in the will are not happy with the pace the estate is being handled, and they may decide to file a lawsuit.

However, there are several steps that an executor can take to help protect themselves against legal action, which include:

  • Follow the wishes of the decedent as outlined in the will.
  • Document all actions that you take as executor. This includes all payments of bills, disbursements, and any other issues that pertain to estate administration.
  • Share information with everyone who is associated with the estate, including providing them with a copy of the will.

If you are still uncertain about the role and duties of an executor, contact our law offices and ask to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer who can answer your questions.

How Can Your Law Firm Help Me Resolve Estate Litigation Issues?

If you have been named an executor of an estate but are facing legal disputes, you need an experienced lawyer who can advise you of your rights and help you navigate complex estate limitation issues.

After a person dies, family members and other heirs are often highly emotional and have preconceived ideas about what assets they may be entitled to receive. As a result, many individuals do not think they have been treated fairly with what they have been given or feel that the executor is moving too slowly.

Regardless of what type of legal dispute you may be encountering, it is always best to hire a lawyer who will be your legal ally and ensure your voice is heard and your legal rights are protected.

If you want more information about how JK Law’s Calgary will and estate lawyers can assist you, contact our law offices at 587-742-2136 and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal needs.

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