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Common Questions

I want to contest or dispute a will. What can I do?
Last reviewed in February 2023 by the Clicklaw Editors.

If a spouse or child is unhappy about their share of a will, they can "contest" (challenge) or "dispute" the will in court. This is also known as wills variation.

Good starting points include:
  • Challenging a Will, from People's Law School, discusses common grounds for challenging a will and what's involved.
  • Challenging Your Spouse or Parent's Will, from People's Law School, is a guide that you can use to ask the court to re-write a will if you believe your spouse or parent did not leave you enough. It is a good starting point for learning about what a wills variation is.
  • Challenging the Validity of a Will, from People's Law School, is a guide that you can use if you believe a will does not accurately represent the true intentions of the deceased.
  • Contesting a Will in British Columbia, from People's Law School, is a webinar that answers common questions about contesting wills in BC. Fast forward to 3:50 for a discussion of wills variation.
  • LSLAP Manual: Wills and Estates Administration, from the UBC Law Students' Legal Advice Program, includes a chapter on Will Variation Claims.

Need more help?

  • If you have more questions or need further help, for example—please see the Get Help services that are available via the Courthouse Libraries BC Wills Resources page.
  • Lawyer Referral Service, from Access Pro Bono, offers a free, brief initial consultation with a lawyer to determine your legal needs. If you would like further help from your lawyer, you can retain them at an agreeable rate of charge.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

See our related common questions:

wills, estates, beneficiary, disappointed beneficiary, unfair will, testamentary capacity, testator's mental capacity, challenging a will, wills variation, WESA, contesting a will, disputing a will