Family Law

What to Do If Your Family Member Is Suing You for an Inheritance

Family calgary lawyer

It’s never easy to lose a family member, especially those close to you and whom you nurture with a lot of love and care. Those you love the most are also the ones that cause the biggest shock and can make you prone to, rightfully, make mistakes. Consider a family lawyer calgary to handle the bureaucracy for you so you can focus on what matters – healing. 

Not only the emotional damage and grief, there is also paperwork, and planning a funeral and ceremony for the departed. Not only will you deal with your own grief, but will need to deal with the grief of others.

Furthermore, there is the fact that you will need to check if the deceased left a will and what are their last wishes. Before that, take some time to reflect on what happened, how you are dealing with the situation, and if it is not in your best interest to have someone deal with the paperwork for you.

A will does facilitate things greatly both for you and for your Lawyers in Calgary, but if a family member decides to sue you for the inheritance, it can be one of the most stressful situations you can get into, and a family lawyer will be necessary to deal with the situation.

Even though a family lawyer will be handling all paperwork, reviewing the will and employing their expertise in the laws and regulations, it is important for you to know how much they are able to support you.

Analysing the Case

Your family lawyer and yourself will first need to understand the motivation behind the family member suing you for inheritance. What exactly do they want and why? Looking into it logically can support your defence, if necessary, as well as try to find a settlement with them later on.

Of course, we are all humans, and it is understandable if the news of being sued by a family member over material possessions can hurt. But it is important to keep yourself centred and not let your emotions take the best of you.

Regardless of the motivations behind suing you, when your family lawyer better understands the why, then they can better develop a defence for you and come up with arguments against their claims.

As mentioned, there can be multiple reasons for a family member to be suing you for inheritance. Some motivations are ill-natured, but some are not. A family member may be suing you due to concerns because the will might not have been signed in the presence of witnesses who are not beneficiaries in the will and in the presence of the testator – a valid concern for other family members that are also grieving the loss of a loved one. 

Other concerns can be malicious, such as trying to benefit themselves by getting any penny they might be able to from the estate. Most courts recognize that the person who passes away must leave safeguards set up for their partner or children, but the equity of these arrangements is not governed by law. This is a widespread misperception among people. Nothing prevents an individual from leaving practically all of their assets to one child and almost none to the others. Additionally, some people believe they are entitled to a person’s estate simply because they are related. Malicious claims are easier to defend against in Court.

Mediating for an Agreement

There is always a chance of reaching a settlement out of court in any legal situation if you are being sued. The majority of disputes in civil litigation, including those involving wills and estates, are resolved before trial. Instead, the parties decide to sit down and discuss the best method to end it, either directly or through their attorneys. The lawyers involved will mediate a discussion to see if it is possible to find a common ground that makes sense legally and can make all parties satisfied with the outcome.

Even if you are quite certain that your position about the division of assets is correct, you can still decide to sign an agreement just to avoid a hassle and your family lawyer will do their best to ensure that your rights are being protected and advise you in what may be in your best interest. However, many people prefer to settle a dispute with an agreement instead of dragging out the conflict, since a settlement is quicker and simpler.

Defending You in Court

You and the family member suing you will meet in court if an agreement between you cannot be reached. If this is the case, it is crucial and will make all the difference to have your estate and will lawyers there. 

You and the opposing side will each have to present the judge with arguments and evidence, summon witnesses, and defend your positions during the court proceedings. It can be particularly difficult to contest a will when the only person who could truly convey the reality for you and resolve any issues is no longer here unless the will is not legally enforceable. Dealing with this matter can bring back a lot of the pain that comes with grieving, especially if the parts involved do not have malicious intentions. Because of this, it’s critical to be ready and to keep in mind that, more than any asset, possession or sense of pride, your health and the memory of the deceased is the most crucial thing you need to protect. 


A family lawyer in Calgary is your best line of defence and will employ their expertise of the law and of past cases to make sure that your rights are being protected and the last wishes of the deceased are being respected to their best abilities. Especially during a difficult moment such as that where you may be hurting and grieving the loss of a loved one, consider delegating the paperwork and bureaucracy to these trained professionals who will deal with the situation with sensibility and knowledge, so you can focus on remembering the departed and allowing yourself time to heal.

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