Interpreting estate documents can be challenging. They are usually drafted by a lawyer having reference to the relevant legislation and statutes. Estate documentation can be subject to different interpretations based on the terms and language used.
In circumstances where there is a query on the effect or meaning of the estate document or any specific term in the document, court intervention can be requested. This is done by a court application asking for the court to provide direction on the meaning and effect of the disputed document.
Court intervention can be requested by filing an application or an application for directions and advice. Any person with a financial interest in an estate or trust including an executor or trustee can file such application.
At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, our skilled Estate Lawyers have decades of experience in advising clients in estate litigation process including trust interpretation applications. If you are a trustee, beneficiary, executor or a person with interest in an estate, we can surely help.
Trusts Interpretation & Estate Litigation
Primarily in estate litigation, disputes occur between beneficiaries, potential beneficiaries or where multiple trustees exist. The reason for dispute can be many, including interpretation of the trust, and the validity of the document, as well as the administration of the estate and the estate assets.
Any litigation regarding an estate should be undertaken only after consulting experienced Estate Litigation Lawyers.
Potential Reasons to Vary a Trust
All estate trustees have the primary responsibility to make sure that testator’s wishes are carried out pursuant to the terms of the estate plan or will. They have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the estate at all times.
Any trustee is prohibited from varying the terms of a trust if not allowed expressly in the trust documentation. The only way to vary the terms of a trust is to get a court order approving the variation, or the written and informed consent of all parties with an interest in the estate. Any variation in the trust terms by a trustee is regarded as a breach of trustee’s duties.
A trust may need a variation due to many reasons including but not limited to:
- Needs of beneficiaries do not align with the terms of the trust;
- To settle equalization claims as per the Family Law Act;
- To settle dependant’s claims against the estate;
- As a result of changes in legislation
Different Methods to Varying a Trust
In Ontario, there are primarily four methods to vary a trust. The Court makes a variation based on four major grounds which are:
- On the informed consent of all interested parties;
- Resulting from the Variation of Trusts Act;
- From the court’s intrinsic jurisdiction;
- From the court’s influence over charities
How We Can Help
At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, our experienced Estate Lawyers understand your specific circumstances and provide tailored and customized solutions for each of them. If you require expert guidance on trust interpretation or need to apply for one, please call us.
Our GTA Wills and Estate Lawyers are available for a consultation. Come and experience our quality legal counsel and personalized care we give to each client. We ensure prompt communication and a professional approach to achieve successful outcomes for you.
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