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Notice of Dispute in Estates Practice (Supreme Court Civil Rule 25-10)

A loved one has passed away. A named executor in the deceased’s will gives you notice of their intention to apply for probate. You believe that that this person (the applicant) is not following the terms of the will or the laws governing estate administration.

What can you do?

You can oppose the estate grant or grant of probate to the applicant by filling out and filing a Notice of Dispute in Supreme Court Form P29.

One aspect of the Notice of Dispute that is somewhat anomalous is that the Supreme Court Registry will stamp your Notice of Dispute with an action number distinct from the court file number associated with the application for estate grant.

While a Notice of Dispute is in effect, the registrar will not grant probate to the applicant.

A Notice of Dispute may stay in effect for one year.

While the Notice of Dispute is in effect, you ought to consider negotiating or mediating with the applicant. Dialogue is important because formal court processes are expensive for the aggrieved beneficiary (disputant) who is wise to engage a lawyer.

It is important to keep in mind that the estate (in effect, the beneficiaries as a whole) will also often be responsible for paying the legal fees of the applicant and may, in the end, be responsible for paying the applicant’s compensation too.

You can apply to court renew your Notice of Dispute before the expiration of the one-year period after you have filed your Notice. However, the applicant or someone else interested in the estate may also apply on notice to the disputant for an order removing the Notice of Dispute before the passing of one year. This is another reason informal dispute resolution efforts are key to the Notice of Dispute mechanism.


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