Common Questions

I want to contest or dispute a will. What can I do?
Last reviewed in April 2018 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, published by People's Law School, explains your rights and remedies in case a will appears to be unfair.
  • LSLAP Manual: Wills and Estates, from the UBC Law Students' Legal Advice Program, includes a chapter on Will Variation Claims.
  • Estate Guide for British Columbia, by Heritage Trust, under the "After Death" chapter, contains information on Wills Variation Claims, including who can ask for a variation and the time you have to start a claim.

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.
  • Wills & Estates Q&A, from People's Law School, is a resource where volunteer legal professionals provide answers to questions from the public relating to wills and estates. If you still can't find the answer, they give an option to submit your own question; every effort is made to provide an initial response within 2 business days and a fuller response within 2 weeks. 
  • Lawyer Referral Service, from Access Pro Bono, offers a free initial consultation with a lawyer for up to 30 minutes.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

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tags
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