A clear, carefully drafted will is the best way to avoid issues in the eventual administration of an estate. A well-written will can help prevent future disputes and potentially lengthy estate litigation.
Disputes over will interpretation commonly arise where there is ambiguity in the language of the will or in the intentions of the person making it (the testator). Such disputes can be financially costly to executors, and can ultimately negatively impact beneficiaries.
At NULaw in Toronto, we have many years of experience advising executors and beneficiaries who need assistance with will interpretation, and we provide ongoing advice for an estate’s administration.
The executor of a will is obligated to act prudently when administering a will, especially where unintended errors or omissions exist, a will is improperly drafted, there is a technical flaw (such as improper witnessing), or there is any other ambiguity.
An executor can apply to an Ontario Court for assistance with interpreting the will, if necessary. Where an executor chooses to pursue this option, they may be protected by the Trustee Act. It is vital to consult with an experienced estate lawyer before taking any action to minimize risk.
If you are an executor, the experienced estate lawyer at NULaw can carry out a thorough review of the will you are tasked with administering, help you understand your duties and obligations, and mitigate any risks, particularly if there is a dispute over the interpretation of the will. Contact us online or at 416-481-5604 for a consultation.