The New Threshold Question to Answer Before You Contest Wills in Ontario

What does a threshold have to do with losing your inheritance?

If you have been disinherited by a will, then you need to know something about thresholds that are used in estate cases.

Ontario courts now require that you have a minimum of evidence to contest a last will. What does this have to do with a threshold? I’ll tell you.

You are on the “threshold” can mean you are standing at the threshold of a new career or venture. If you look up the word threshold, it may mean “a starting point or a minimum”.

A threshold or doorway takes you from one place to another. Thresholds can create minimum requirements as you are about to start something different.

Minimum Requirements to Challenge Ontario Wills

If you are going to contest a last will in Ontario, you need to have a minimum evidentiary reason or grounds to satisfy a judge that something is wrong. Judges can then use their discretion to allow you to follow a procedure for contesting a will.

Saying “I don’t like what is in the will” or, “I was cut out for no good reason” to contest the will is not enough.

If you do not have minimum evidentiary grounds to contest the will, you may be out of luck. This is even if you believe you did nothing wrong to be disinherited or left out.

If you don’t have evidence to support your claims, beware; you could be liable for all legal costs.

The Minimum Evidentiary Requirement

The starting point to know is that you have no absolute right to contest the will just because you don’t like what is in it. You could be unhappy, disappointed and cheesed off but that not a reason to go to court to challenge the will.

You must satisfy the court that you have some minimal evidence that crosses the threshold before a court will require a will to be proven as valid.

Will contests or challenges can expose estates to needless lawsuits. In small estates, the cost of legal proceedings or lawsuits can wipe out the estate entirely.

You may be thinking, so what? As long as I get what I want.

Is That Real Justice?

Estate litigation is expensive. It freezes estates until the litigation is over, often many years later. No one knows who will get anything under a will that is contested, or when. You also never know how or when a lawsuit will end.

It would be unfair to require an executor/estate trustee to defend a will because somebody is unhappy with their entitlement or complaining that they were disinherited without good reason.

Ontario courts require that you point to some evidence that calls into question the validity of the last will. If the person filing the will in court cannot answer or rebut your evidence, a court may order the release of financial, medical and legal records to investigate if a will is valid or not.

If that sounds terrible, there is a way to end estate disputes. Get my free guide, End Estate Lawsuits here:

Download Free Report

Need help deciding if you should contest a will? Contact me today.

Estate law is all I do.