September 20, 2023

Family Law and the Will Challenge

September 20, 2023 at 12:00PM (ET) on ZOOM
This Lunch and Learn seminar will talk about Family Law and Will Challenges.

Family Law and the Will Challenge

September 20, 2023
at 12:00PM (ET) on ZOOM
This program is eligible for CPD hours required of Lawyers.
This program is eligible for CPD hours required of Lawyers.
Family Law and the Will Challenge


Without exaggeration, Estate planners, Family Law practitioners and litigators ignore the relationship between Family Law and Will Challenges at their clients’ peril. Without their lawyers’ understanding of both of these areas of the law, clients are increasingly vulnerable when negotiating domestic contracts, releases, and estate planning.  The overlap between Family Law and Estates Law is substantial, and practitioners of each area of law should develop familiarity, if not expertise, in each area of these areas of the law.

Unless their domestic contracts say otherwise, when a spouse dies leaving a Will, the surviving spouse has the option to elect to take their bequests under the Will or to receive the entitlement under the provisions dealing with equalization of net family property. Within six months after the first spouse’s death, the surviving spouse must file his/her election and commence the appropriate application. Otherwise, the surviving spouse is deemed to take under the Will. 

A key danger to lawyers drafting domestic contracts are the release provisions which purport to preclude surviving spouses from making claims against the Estate for support. The Succession Law Reform Act specifically provides that courts may make a support order “despite any agreement or waiver to the contrary.” Regardless of any commitment made in a domestic contract, dependants of the Deceased may apply for support from the Deceased’s Estate when the Deceased left them with inadequate provisions to support themselves.

Topics addressed in this seminar will include:

    • Drafting and Interpretation of Domestic Contracts
    • Dependant’s Relief/Support under the SLRA
    • Division of Net Family Property 
    • Equalization under the Family Law Act

Discussion Materials

Main Paper

Session Recording

In the Media

This article was published by Law360 Canada, part of Lexis Nexis Canada Inc. on September 15, 2023.


Principal, Elm Law PC


Partner, Wagner Sidlofsky LLP

Peter Neufeld


b'nai brith canada
Wagner Sidlofsky LLP
BMO Private Wealth
Weir Foulds LLP

Amelia Yiu

Principal, Elm Law Professional Corporation

Amelia is the founding principal lawyer of Elm Law Professional Corporation, a law firm located in the regional municipality of Durham, Ontario practising in the areas of family law, estate litigation and elder law.

Amelia was called to the bar of Ontario in 2007 and worked under both Gregory Sidlofsky and Charles Wagner before opening Elm Law in 2016. Her practice is focused on estate litigation, power of attorney disputes and family law where it intersects with estates, elder law and/or power of attorney issues.

Peter Neufeld

Peter Neufeld

Partner, Wagner Sidlofsky LLP

Peter is a partner at Wagner Sidlofsky LLP. Prior to joining the firm, Peter spent the first years of his litigation career representing class members in class actions regarding alleged breaches of the Securities Act and Competition Act. He has also been involved in files dealing with oppression remedies, derivative actions, and breach of contract disputes.