Estates Litigation


The loss of a loved one can be a devastating and an emotional experience. While mourning a loss, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the responsibility of ensuring that all of your family’s affairs are in order, especially if you are listed as an Executor, Administrator, or Trustee of an Estate or Trust for the deceased. However, many other individuals have also experienced being left out of the deceased’s Will and believe that they are entitled to a share. At Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF), we are here to act in your best interest and in accordance with the law.


Knowing where to begin in matters of contesting a Will can be extremely difficult, DSF Estates Litigation lawyers have practiced law in Toronto since 1964 and we are qualified to advise clients on how to proceed while providing support from start to finish, when challenging the validity of a will.

Common estates litigation grounds on which you may challenge the validity of a will include:

  1. Compliance: If the Will fails to comply with the Succession Law Reform Act, this may be reason to invalidate the document. Ontario requires full compliance with the formalities of execution. Wills prepared by legal professionals will comply with these rules, while a majority of home-made forms do not.
  2. Mental and Physical Capacity: Did the deceased have the capacity to make the Will? When basing a case on these grounds, it will need to be determined if the deceased was aware of their own property and the fact that the Will would be dispersing those assets upon their death.
    Additionally, it may come into question if they were understanding of the obligations they may have to spouses and children. Expert medical witnesses are required to make these judgements as they will be needed to review medical records and assess the deceased’s mental capacity at the time the Will was made.
  3. Suspicious Circumstances: This estate litigation argument calls into question whether there were suspicious circumstances surrounding the Will including if the deceased was under the influence of outside sources which can include:
  • When a person feels compelled to honour the wishes of someone making a direct or implied threat or attempts to leverage a person’s weakened state to their advantage.
  • When a child convinces a parent to remove a sibling from the will.
  • When a Will signed on the deceased’s death bed leaves everything to a caregiver – this may count as suspicious circumstances.

In addition to Will challenges, you can rely on DSF’s Estate Litigation lawyers to handle issues such as:

  • Advising estate trustees, executors/administrator/personal representatives, trustees, beneficiaries and family members regarding estate and trust related issues and disputes
  • Challenges and Defence of Wills
  • Interpretation of Wills and Trusts
  • Dependants Support applications under the Succession Law Reform Act
  • Passings of Accounts
  • Defence of Solicitor’s Negligence
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Spousal Rights
  • Trust Law
  • Quantum merut claims
  • Unjust enrichment
  • Facilitating mediated settlement of disputes


At DSF, we know that matters of estate litigation often come with a great deal of emotional pain along with the legal and financial aspects. For more than 50 years, DSF has handled estate litigation cases with the compassion and expertise required to get our clients the results they deserve.

We offer multiple convenient locations in TorontoWhitbyBarrie and more to serve our clients better. Find the office closest to you by calling us at  416-449-1400 or by visiting our locations page.

DSF has lawyers for this practice area in locations other than our Don Mills location. if you would prefer to work with one of our lawyers in one of our other offices,
please click on your preferred location below.

Call us at 416-449-1400 for available options or to