Will disputes up 7 fold.
Will disputes, in just 5 years, have risen by seven times, it is reported.
Whether it is a result of increased wealth but hard times, compo culture or greedy lawyers, the fact remains that the number of disputes has risen astronomically – as do the costs.
Fortunately for those who feel their may be an issue which they would like resolved, we have a client and fee sharing arrangement with a specialist firm of experts which enables our clients to have such matters reviewed at modest cost. In the best cases, it may even be possible to make a no win no fee agreement, but what our colleagues won’t do is to encourage you to do ahead with your Will dispute even when they know it has minimal chance of success. In many cases they only winners are the lawyers!
The causes of Will disputes.
Will disputes are often caused by poorly though out Wills, which don’t take into account family sensitivities and realities. Step families, divorces, invalid Wills. Last Wills commonly ignore people who should have been considered, and perhaps favourably. Worse still no Will or an invalid Will may cut out your life partner totally, leaving them with no alternative but to take expensive legal action against (perhaps) your children. Not a great legacy to leave.
Another common issue with Wills is that left out beneficiaries allege that they were made when the person didn’t understand what they were doing (“mental incapacity”). Another is that there was undue influence – usually one of the beneficiaries has dragged the person whose Last Will is being made down to a solicitor and had it changed in their favour!
Too may firms create Wills by asking one simple question “What would you like your Will to do?” That is a good question, but only if it is followed up with lots of others to explore family dynamics, assets and – of course – your wishes in detail. If you have a Will which may give rise to a Will dispute rather than create peace, then maybe you should contact us and commission a review of the Will. There is a lot which can be done, in advance, to avoid families being split by needless and painful Will disputes.