More families contesting wills amid rising Metro Vancouver home prices, lawyer says


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — One lawyer tells NEWS 1130 court battles among family members fighting over the estates of their deceased loved ones are becoming more common.

So as more court battles between family members take place, lawyer Josh Woods says that’s why keeping an updated will is important.

“Let’s say that individual owns a cabin, maybe in Kelowna or in Kamloops, but also owns a home here. Fifteen years ago, they executed a will and they’ve left one of those properties to their first child and the other to their second. Fifteen years later, the dramatic increase means the division of that will is probably no longer fair.”

The partner at the Coquitlam-based firm Clark Woods LLP says there’s been an increase in court battles over the last 18-24 months, but it’s not clear if that’s linked in any way to the pandemic — or simply because property values keep climbing.

For those who don’t have a will, Wood highly encourages them to talk to somebody to make things easier further down the line.

And for people who already have an updated will, there’s always an opportunity to learn more.

Since there are misconceptions about people’s options, Woods pleads people just to reach out for guidance.

“…be [your] own advocate,” he says. “You just simply don’t know what you don’t know.”

– With files from Tamara Slobogean

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