The Importance of Acting Quickly In A Will Challenge

Charles Ticker, founder of the Charles B. Ticker Law Office in York Region explains the importance of acting quickly in a will challenge.

The sooner a client comes to me, the better opportunity I have to successfully make a claim on their behalf. From a practical point of view, if a client waits too long to make a claim after the death of the deceased, the funds in the estate may have already been distributed. Ontario law provides that, if the will has been probated, the executor can rely on that probated will or the certificate of appointment to handle the estate, and is not responsible for distributions of assets already made if the will is subsequently set aside.

If a client comes to see me before the will has been filed for probate, then typically I will file a Notice of Objection and contact the executor and the executor’s lawyer if there is one. This notice is filed with the court and prevents any probate being granted. After that, the estate trustee will file an application with the court for directions as how to proceed with the will challenge.

If the will has already been probated, then I apply to the court for an order that the probate be returned to the court and be dealt with in the context of the will challenge. A useful technique that I’ve used is to write to banks and any other possible holders of the estates’ funds and state that the deceased’s account needs to be frozen or they may be subject to a law suit. That strategy can often buy the client a little more time.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with estate law issues in the Markham, Ontario Region, contact Charles B. Ticker for a consultation.

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This article is taken from a September, 2011 interview with Charles B. Ticker, Estate Lawyer with Charles B. Ticker Law Office, a Markham, Ontario Wills and Estate Law Firm. This article and website provide general information on legal and related matters and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should consult and retain qualified legal professionals in your area to advise you about your particular situation and the law in your jurisdiction as laws vary from province to province, state to state and country to country.