Most of the people think that they are aware about all the aspects of a will and it might be true to some extent but when it comes to wills variation then the expertise and knowledge becomes very limited as this field of will is very talked very less. As a beneficiary of a will, it is very much necessary for you to know about wills variation as it can act as a savior for you if you ignored or suppressed in the will.
A will is basically a legal document through which a person or an owner of assets (monetary, physical and documented) express his/her wish on how the property will be distributed after his death and names a person who acts as an executor for managing the estate until the final distribution. Most of the disappointed beneficiaries are often caught off guard and they think that there is no way to get what they deserve. For such people, wills variations act as the only light of hope which can take them out of such situations.
What is wills variation?
Wills variation which was earlier a part of Wills Variation Act and now included in the Wills, Estate and Succession Act(WESA) is basically a BC law that allows the family member of the deceased to apply to the court to vary the terms of the will but only if they feel that they have been treated unfairly. The court has got the right to order that the provision that it thinks adequate, just and equitable in the circumstances be made out of the will-maker’s estate for the spouse or children.” In layman’s language, the court can easily change a will on the terms that it thinks are appropriate according to the circumstances.
You should know that the definition of children under the WESA acts applies to both biological and legally adopted child but doesn’t include stepchildren or a child which has been adopted by another party.
Who can apply for wills variation?
The people who can apply for wills variation has been clearly mentioned in the Wills, Estate and Succession Act. According to the law, only the deceased's spouse and children can apply for a wills variation. Along with married spouse, WESA defines spouse as those who live in a marriage like relationship for at least two years. There is no definition of children by WESA but as mentioned above, children mean both biological and adopted child but not stepchildren.
In British Colombia, there is slight variation when it comes to who can apply for wills variation. The support for spouse and children in British Colombia is not just limited to those who are totally dependent on deceased like a youth or a disabled person. Adult independent child or spouse can also apply for the wills variation. In layman’s language, you don’t need to be totally dependent on your child in order to apply for wills variation.
Why to hire a wills variation lawyer?
Many people think that just by reading a bunch of articles on the wills variation, they become eligible for filing for it on their own but you should know that doing so might not you expected results from your filing. There are various documents and proofs which you need to show in the court in order to file wills variation and alter the will through court and that’s why it is always advisable to hire a wills variation lawyer rather than making it a DIY project.
You should know that each wills variation filing is unique and that’s why the courts decide whether to alter the will or not on certain set of facts. In addition to this, wills variation are also time-sensitive and if you want to apply for a will to vary then proceedings must be commenced within 180 days of the grant of probate.
There are special lawyers on the internet who are specialized in wills variation and you should always go with such lawyers instead of consulting generic lawyers.