When Do You Need Estate Litigation Lawyers?
Estate law can be a very complicated area of law because it tends to be quite emotional for the parties involved.
When a loved one or family member passes, there may be complex estate matters and family dynamics which can lead to possible estate disputes.
When this happens, it’s important to get legal advice from a reputable estate lawyer who specializes in the practice area.
How Does The Estate Litigation Process Work?
We have put together a step-by-step process for your reference, to help you better understand what happens when a dispute arises.
Estate disputes can cover a number of issues.
You may for example be arguing over the estate trustees appointed. Perhaps powers of attorney disputes have arisen that you need legal advice on.
Trustee disputes and all other dispute resolution matters go through the Ontario Superior Court, and here’s a basic rundown for you on what the process entails.
Step 1: Notice of Application
Here, a notice of an application gets filed with the superior court of justice and is served on both parties.
Step 2: Application Record
Here, the applicant, that is the one who is initiating the litigation, prepares their affidavit and evidence. This is where the applicant outlines the issues and the relevant law.
Step 3: Respondent’s Record
Once the respondent, that is the one who did not initiate the litigation, has an opportunity to respond to the applicant’s documents.
Step 4: Reply By Applicant
Once the respondent files their response with the court, the applicant also receives a copy of it through their lawyer.
The applicant here has the opportunity to respond by addressing any allegations or accusations made by the respondent and provide additional information (evidence and affidavits) to support their reply.
A reply isn’t always necessary, and your estate litigation lawyer can advise you here on your best course of action.
Step 5: Possible Motions To A Judge At Any Time
You may file a motion for the purpose of discovery or examinations.
Here, you are asking the court to grant you permission to question parties who can provide helpful information for your case.
Step 6: Examinations
Once you have been granted your motion, this is when you prepare a list of people you would like to question who can provide helpful information on your case.
Anyone called for discovery or examinations cannot be an expert or a party to the case. Parties examined are also subject to cross-examination by the opposing party.
Step 7: Mediation
This step is a mandatory part of the dispute resolution process, whereby both parties agree on, hire and split the cost of an impartial third-party mediator.
Each side parents a mediation brief to the mediator.
Step 8: Hearing With A Judge
If necessary, a hearing with a judge is the final step in the litigation process.
A judge will render a decision and make a final order.
Are You Looking For An Estate Litigation Lawyer?
At Hummingbird Lawyers LLP, we have handled many Toronto estate matters and matters throughout Ontario.
Our Wills and Estates lawyers always aim to efficiently and effectively resolve any disputes so that you can move forward.
We understand how difficult it can be to get caught up in the emotional and financial burden of estate litigation and we will work with you every step of the way to help you resolve your situation.
Contact our team today for more information.
We are always here to help and to offer you quality and sound legal advice.