Client-Oriented Toronto Litigation Boutique for Equitable Claims Against Estates
With any large or high-value estate, it is not unusual for parties that are not named beneficiaries to question whether they should have been included in the will. In these situations, there may be equitable claims against the estate.
Financial Litigation is a boutique law firm that focuses on financial matters exclusively, so we understand the ins and outs of complex estates litigation. Regardless of the situation, we advise individuals who are considering bringing an equitable claim for their rightful share of a large or high-value estate. Our lawyers also assist clients with defending equitable actions by non-beneficiaries where those claims are without merit.
What is an “equitable claim” against an estate?
In some circumstances, a will or estate plan does not properly reflect the principles of fairness, or “equity”. In these cases, a court can be asked to step in and allocate the proceeds of an estate on an equitable basis.
For example, if there are any questions as to the validity of the estate plan, or the deceased died unexpectedly, there may also be beneficiaries that were promised a portion of the estate but were not named due to an oversight or running out of time. Caregivers, family members, and other individuals who provided care and services may also feel that they have a reasonable expectation of compensation or consideration from the estate.
Types of equitable claims in estates litigation
Any claim against an estate arises from a promise or agreement by the deceased to take certain actions, and a claimant suffering a loss or detrimental impact when that promise is not upheld. Equitable claims ask the court to rectify the unfairness by altering the will to reflect the agreements made by the deceased.
While the basis for all equitable claims is an allegation of fundamental unfairness, there are several specific categories, including:
- Constructive trusts;
- Unjust enrichment; and
- Quantum meruit.
Skillful, experienced estates lawyers advising clients about equitable claims
Clients facing equitable claims over a high-value estate should only work with an experienced estates lawyer that understands how to successfully handle complex financial litigation. At Financial Litigation we understand the very technical legal underpinnings of equitable claims, the detailed evidence required to succeed, and how to build a solid case for our clients. To schedule an appointment, call 416-769-4107 x1 or contact us online.