Large Estates and Wills Variation

There is a common misconception that only people with large estates need to plan for the future with estate planning. However, even those with modest estates should be looking toward the future to better prepare themselves and their families for a time when they are no longer able to care for the family.

With modest estates, the will creation process and estate litigation focuses on ensuring there are adequate provisions for loved ones. But if you have a large estate, you may have questions about how wills variation may change–or, if there are any additional measures in place for the spouse and children of the estate holder. Klein Lawyers explains.

Large Estates and Wealth Transfer In Wills

According to the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, estate litigation and planning lawyers in British Columbia have experienced the “largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in history.”

While many think of wealth preservation as a tool only useful in life, the reality is this process helps you care for loved ones after your death. By planning ahead, you can help your family avoid estate litigation, minimize taxes, include provisions for family businesses, include instructions to your loved ones on charitable gift planning, and more.

But when a family is in the midst of a large estate dispute, there are a few things to be aware of.

  1. Depending on the size of the estate, there may be additional layers of privacy and security at play, which means that contesting aspects of the estate may be more difficult than others.
  2. Alter Ego Trusts can prove problematic if the person named to benefit from the remainder of the trust upon the creator’s passing is not within the family circle and it holds a large portion of assets. Unfortunately, these documents are not subject to wills variation because they do not fall under Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”).

While families that hold large estates often look to wealth preservation plans to control who will be a beneficiary, and how much they will receive, as well as to protect the estate from taxation, if you are subject to disinheritance, you may wonder what can be done.

Disputing Wills in Large Estate Cases

Large Estates and Wills Variation: Beneficiary Rights

If you believe you have been subject to inadequate provisions in a loved one’s estate, you are likely searching for answers. Typically, in cases of estate litigation where multiple parties are seeking assets, the courts will first distribute the estate to whomever is legally entitled to it, then they will review the moral responsibility of ensuring care and maintenance of other family members.

But large estates make the wills variation claim process more complex, especially when certain estate planning tools are utilized. That’s why it is imperative to work with a wills variation attorney who can handle the case.

Large Estates and Wills Variation in British Columbia: Klein Lawyers

No matter the size of the estate, when a person has failed to care for their loved ones as they legally and morally should, emotional turmoil as well as legal concerns will arise. At Klein Lawyers, our estate litigation lawyers will review the will and navigate the legality of your claim in the wills variation process.

Contact Klein Lawyers at (604) 874-7171 today for a free, confidential case evaluation. Our wills variation lawyers serve clients throughout British Columbia from offices in Vancouver, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, and Surrey.