Growth in the Number of Cases Fighting over Wills and Inheritance

5 Nov 2018

Increasing numbers of siblings, stepchildren and partners are contesting wills and inheritances in an effort to secure a share or bigger share of their family’s fortune. Ministry of Justice figures show the High Court considered 145 inheritance disputes in 2017, which though slightly down on the record number of 158 in 2016, is still three times higher than a decade earlier.

Two factors may account at least in part for this increase. First, the huge increase in house prices during the last two decades means that estates now are significantly larger than they were even 20 years ago, and second, many of the younger generation, especially millennials, are struggling to make ends meet, so if left out of a will they may decide to try and seek financial benefit to improve their situation.

There are a number of common grounds that you may be able to raise to contest a will. Such grounds include doubts over the validity of a will, failure of the will to provide adequately for dependants and where a will contradicts a previous promise.

Contesting a will requires specialist legal advice from a disputed estates lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to take you through the process of contesting a will and inform you of the timeframes involved.


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