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Challenges against Wills increase by 20% in 10 years

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According to a recent survey published in The Times, the number of challenges to Wills by relatives has increased by 20% over the past 10 years. Despite this, the majority of people surveyed considered that a deceased’s person’s wishes should be exempt from legal challenges. The survey found that only 18% of those aged 35 to 44 years old felt strongly that passing on an inheritance was a moral obligation compared to 8% of those over the age of 55.

There are numerous ways to challenge a Will and the majority of them tend to be on the basis of putting right something that has gone wrong, such a Will not being drafted properly, or a person not having sufficient mental capacity to make it. These types of challenges tend to be based around looking at the true wishes and intentions of the deceased.

However, there is also a mechanism to being a claim to challenge a Will under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, which is concerned far less about the deceased’s wishes and intentions, and is more based on what is considered to be reasonable financial provision, in all of the circumstances. Over the past few years, the highly publicised Illot v Mitson case showed the Court going entirely against a mother’s wishes not to provide for her estranged daughter, and awarding her around a third of the estate.  It may be that it is this case, or similar ones in the press, that have made people realise that they can bring a claim.

If you wish to bring a claim against someone’s estate, it is important that you seek specialist legal advice as early as possible.  The time limit for bringing some of these types of claim is very short, and you could miss out on your claim if you wait too long.

For a fixed fee of £79.95, you can have a 30 minute appointment with myself, either on the telephone, or face to face, depending on your preference. We will take some details from you before the appointment, and I will then discuss your case with you, and what your options are. If your case is something that we can then help you further with, we can then discuss your funding options with you. For cases like this, we can sometimes consider a “no win no fee” agreement, depending on the circumstances of your case.