How To Challenge An Executor in Ontario
At Blackburn Lawyers – our law firm has assisted numerous clients with challenging executors and challenging wills in general. While the outcome is not always guaranteed – we always advise hiring a lawyer to help with this task given the procedural laws on this topic are rather complex and involve a multitude of nuances. In fact, in Ontario there are only a few grounds that a Will or executor can successfully be contested through the Courts. If a Will is considered valid and was created and executed properly – judges do not have the ability to set aside the Will on the basis that beneficiaries deem the Will to be unfair.
There are a few instances under the Family Law Act however where married spouses may be able to challenge a Will or Executor. Or for example if the deceased had business partners – claims may be brought forth challenging the Will as constructive trust or unjust enrichment claims. Other scenarios however are more complex and under all circumstances we recommend hiring a local wills and estates lawyer or estate litigation lawyer for legal assistance in processing your claims.
Here are some instances where a Will may be considered invalid.
- If the Will was presumed to be created under duress or undue influence
- If the Will was not signed properly by the deceased
- If the Will was not witnessed properly
- If there was another Will subsequently revoking the earlier made Will
How Do I Challenge an Executor or If There Is a Dispute?
The executor of a Will is in change of making sure to wishes of the deceased are carried out and essentially has the authority to act in this role but this doesn’t necessarily mean they have the final say on matters regarding all decision on the estate – especially if they are negligent or demonstrating misconduct in handling the settling of the estate. In order for a court to remove an executor – there must be demonstrable evidence to prove that the executor has conducted gross misconduct. For example if they failed to record the will in probate court or failed to pay estate debts or used estate funds for personal expenses. Additionally, if the executor failed to carry out items outlined in the Will – you may have grounds to remove the executor as well.
Challenging An Executor Is Not Always Guaranteed
While challenging a Will or executor in Ontario is possible under certain circumstances – the outcome is not always guaranteed. Especially in situations where the Will is considered valid and enforceable. When reviewing claims the Courts will only rely on facts and not emotional statements or perceptions. If you believe you have grounds to challenge a Will and have documented evidence or facts that prove your position – contact an estate litigation lawyer at your earliest opportunity. Additionally, if you believe the executor of a Will has participated in gross misconduct in handling the settling of the state – contact a lawyer immediately.
How Can an Estate Litigation Lawyer Help In Challenging An Executor?
A lawyer will review all facts of your claim and advise you on whether or not you have a possible claim. In the event there are grounds to pursue your claim, your lawyer will review the evidence and prepare a claim on your behalf for the Courts to review. They will handle all correspondence and legal documentation to bring your claim before the courts and keep you informed throughout the duration of your case.
Contact our Richmond Hill Estate Litigation Lawyers Today For Legal Assistance
At Blackburn Lawyers – our Richmond Hill based estate litigation lawyers can assist with all types of estate litigation and wills and estates matter across Ontario. For legal assistance contact our law firm today to book a consultation with a member of our legal team and let us put our experience to work for you.
Call our law firm now to book your consultation by dialing 905-884-9242.
Disclaimer: Please note this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice pertaining to your individual unique situation – please consult with a lawyer directly.