A wave of estate litigation may be coming. Be ready.


GavelThere have been several articles over the past several years indicating that we are heading toward one of the greatest intergenerational wealth transfers that we have ever seen. Canadian seniors have unprecedented wealth, and plan to leave the vast majority of it to their children and grandchildren.

Unfortunately, many of these people have not properly prepared their estate plans, which is where the litigation is going to come into play. Either the plan is out of date because they have remarried since signing their will, or they have made unequal distributions and not explained this to children or spouses, or simply because of what they decide to give to whom in terms of personal items, people who get less than what they expected are not going to be happy and are going to sue. The bigger the estate, the more likely this is to happen.

The best solution to this problem is twofold: get a will, and let everyone who might think they have a stake in your estate know what is in your will while you are still alive. While they may not like it, understanding your reasons can be the best way to defuse a difficult situation and keep intact those relationships after you are gone.