Smith Estate v. Rotstein earlier this year.
In that case, a woman challenged her mother's will on the basis that the deceased lacked testamentary capacity (i.e. didn't know what she was signing) and was unduly influenced into making the will. The woman's brother was the executor and was forced to defend the will. By the time the case made it through two levels of court, his legal bills were over $700,000.
The judge said that there was so little evidence supporting the woman's claim that she should never have brought the case in the first place. And if she had brought the case in good faith, she should have dropped it early on once she saw all of the evidence. However, the woman stubbornly carried on with the lawsuit, apparently thinking that the costs wouldn't matter because the estate would pay them.
She had a nasty surprise. The judge made her responsible for the brother's costs of $700,000, as well as $30,000 in disbursements. Ouch!
This should be a major heads-up to anyone who is thinking about bringing a weak lawsuit against an estate for emotional reasons. Yes, it's tempting to make the executor stop and pay attention to your issues. Yes, it's tempting to vent your emotions this way. And yes, you may even have heard that when estates end up in court, the estate pays all the lawyers. But this case makes it clear that pointless litigation just for spite won't be tolerated. The free ride for will contests is over. Unless there is strong evidence to back up your claim, don't count on the estate paying your lawyer.