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Why Will Disputes Arise

Posted: Thursday, 25 July 2019 @ 08:54

According to this recent article one in four people would mount a legal challenge against a loved one's will if they were unhappy with it, a survey reveals.

 The readiness of family members to oppose a relative's last wishes is reflected in official court statistics, which show such disputes are on the rise.

There was a six per cent increase last year in people contesting a grant of probate - an important step to gain control over an estate after someone dies.

This follows previous figures showing a record number of inheritance disputes are reaching the High Court, a trend due to fragmented families, willingness of indivduals to sue  and rising property prices. 

Direct Line says its analysis of figures from HM Courts and Tribunals Service shows more than 8,000 'caveats' were registered in attempts to block probate in 2017.

From experience a number of the problems stem from lack of proactiveness from the deceased persons (the testators) including:

Failure to Anticipate Legal Challenges. One method which can deter would be litigants is to place no contest clauses in the will so a beneficiary will lose their interest if they challenge the will. This is not legal proof but can deter.   

Poor Choice of Executors - This can be appointing individuals who are unable to cope with possible legal challenges.

Opportunistic Family Members - Some people are just plain greedy and just will not be happy no matter what. They require careful handling. 

Failure to Try Tackle Problems Pre Death Rather Than Post Death.