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  • Writer's pictureThe Will Partners

Contestation of Wills on the increase...


Since 2017 court cases relating to contested or disputed Wills have increased by over 34% and by more than 140% in the last 10 years according to figures released by the Ministry of Justice.

So why is this happening?

As we know, property prices have vastly increased over the periods in question, as well as the significant increase in people falling within the Inheritance Tax (IHT) bracket which is creating greater pressure on people gifting assets in their lifetime. Broken families, advances in technology, and the use of internet banking all contribute to this issue. In addition, there is an evident wealth gap between generations and people are living longer due to improvements in

healthcare, nutrition and advances in medical science.

Another reason for the significant increase in contested Wills is the rise in dementia and other disorders relating to the ageing population. It appears that older vulnerable people are increasingly at risk of being exploited for financial gain by unscrupulous persons close to them.

It is also clear that many younger people are now facing a much tougher financial environment than their parents or grandparents, due to a range of factors including pressures in the job market, inflation, property prices and the recently increased cost of borrowing. There are clearly additional incentives for family members and beneficiaries of Wills to attempt to gain as much

value as possible from loved ones’ estates, whether fair or not, including the disputing of Wills via prolonged court battles. It is now suggested that these legal battles are taking two or more years for a case to even get to trial and the implications are not only financial but emotional for all of those involved.

It is therefore essential that people take specific upfront action by way of planning to minimise the risk of such disputes or contestation. Updated Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney should be put in place, reviewed regularly and when mental capacity is not in question. We also strongly encourage people to closely and regularly communicate their wishes with their families.

Contact us today to arrange a free no obligation consulation in the comfort of your own home to find out how to set up a will to protect your family and loved ones.


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