Wills, Estate & Inheritance Disputes

We understand that these family matters can be delicate and complex.

Sometimes, the loss of a family member is followed by a painful conflict over the will and the estate of the deceased. We take the time to listen to you and to understand your concerns before advocating on your behalf. We are committed to keeping you informed during every step we take on your behalf.  Our Estate, Trust, and Capacity Litigation team will work with you to identify the legal issues and your needs, to make the complex understandable and to employ creative approaches and custom solutions that address the unique elements of your situation.


A valid will is a free expression of the testator’s wishes regarding the distribution of his or her estate upon death. Wills can be challenged on the basis that the person who made the will:

  • Lacked the mental capacity to make a will;
  • Did not have knowledge about or approve of the contents of the will;
  • Was unduly influenced by another person in making the will; or 
  • Failed to write and sign his or her will in accordance with the formal requirements of the law of Ontario.

Occasionally a will may also be challenged upon an allegation of forgery or fraud.

We also provide legal advice to assist estate trustees and beneficiaries in understanding unclear provisions of a will and, where appropriate, we can apply to the court to have any such provision interpreted.

When disagreements between family members erupt over the validity and meaning of a will you can rely on our highly experienced Estate, Trust, and Capacity Litigation team to guide and support you. Specifically, we offer confidential advice about estate and inheritance disputes including:

    • Will challenges
      – Unfairly or unexpectedly being left out of a will
      – Unequal treatment of beneficiaries
      – Assisting estate trustees
    • Lost or Missing Wills
    • Interpreting Wills
    • Enforcement of Wills
    • Burial Disputes

For assistance with your estate litigation enquiry, please contact Sarah Williamson by email or at 613.544.0211, ext. 8051.

Wills & Estate Lawyers

Our Estate, Trust, and Capacity Litigation team offers a wide range of legal services to help support businesses of all sizes.

Desiree Smith


Desiree Smith is an Associate in our General Litigation group. Before joining Cunningham Swan,

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