A Notice of Dispute can be filed with a B.C. Supreme Court Registry by a party that wishes to oppose certain steps in estate proceedings. The Notice of Dispute has replaced caveats.
The most common reason for filing a Notice of Dispute is to oppose the issuance of a grant of probate or administration; however, they can also be filed in opposition to the issuance of an authorization to obtain estate information or resealing information, or to oppose the resealing of a foreign grant.
In order to file a Notice of Dispute, it must be in the correct form and must be filed by a person who is entitled to do so under the Supreme Court Civil Rules. An individual may only file one Notice of Dispute and it must be filed prior to an estate grant or authorization being issued, or the resealing of the foreign grant.
A grant of probate or administration cannot be issued while the Notice of Dispute is in effect. A party that is interested in the estate, including a proposed executor or a beneficiary, can make an application to have the Notice of Dispute removed on the grounds that removal is in the best interest of the estate. If no steps are taken to remove it, it will remain in effect for a period of one year, or until the expiration of any renewal period, if applicable, after which it will expire and cease to be in effect.
It is important to seek legal advice regarding your entitlement to file, applicable time limits, and the steps that can be taken after a Notice of Dispute is filed.