Are you a child or spouse that has been disinherited or treated unfairly in a will?  If so, it is important you make yourself aware of the British Columbia Wills, Estates and Succession Act (formerly theWills Variation Act) which allows a child or spouse to apply for the court to vary a valid will in the event they have not been adequately maintained and supported within the will.  The court, at their discretion, will substitute what they find to be "adequate, just and equitable" in the circumstances.


The Wills, Estates and Succession Act (formerly the Wills Variation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 490) is your tool.  This important piece of legislation gives the courts the power to alter a will in certain situations where they feel that a child or spouse has not been treated fairly and justice must be done.  The Act may help you challenge a will if you have been disinherited.  The core of the power is found in s.60:

"Despite any law or enactment to the contrary, if a will-maker dies leaving a will that does not, in the court's opinion, make adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support of the will-maker's spouse or children, the court may, in an action by or on behalf of the spouse or children, order that the provision that it thinks adequate, just and equitable in the circumstances be made out of the will-maker's estate for the spouse or children."  follows judicial developments where the courts have exercised this power in handling estate disputes.