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Paying the Cost of Challenging a Will

In the BC Court system a plaintiff takes a risk suing where, if they lose, they not only pay their own lawyer's legal fees, they end up paying some (and sometimes most or all) of the defendant's legal fees. The default in BC is that the loser pays "costs". This, sometimes, gives people pause before suing because they should only sue if they have an arguable case.

In estate litigation cases, the responsibility to pay costs is, often, the estate's responsibility, even when the validity of the will is disputed. However, in a recent case, the son who challenged the validity of the will had to pay the estate court costs for his failed challenge.

In the case of Schell Estate (Re), 2019 BCSC 2168, the dad died April 28, 2018, only 2 months after making a new will. The will gave everything to his daughter, and completely disinherited his son. In the will, dad's reasons were because of the different financial circumstances of his two children. When the dad died, he h…

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