It has been reported by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (‘STEP’) that “the number of English wills being contested through high court litigation reached a record level of 188 in 2019, as house prices continued to rise and cohabitation and second marriages became more commonplace”.
If you are thinking of making a will (or if you have already made one) and are concerned about the possibility of a claim being made following your death, please feel free to contact us to discuss the matter and obtain advice relevant to your circumstances. It may not be possible to stop a claim being made following your death, but there are actions you can take during your lifetime to ensure any claim made is less likely to succeed so your wishes in your will are more likely to take effect.
It seems likely that in future, an increasing number of cases will be made against estates for a variety of reasons and so it is really important to plan ahead for the possibility of this. Making a will sounds so obvious but is overlooked by many so if you have not already done so, do consider making a will.
There are many different ways a claim can be made against a will or an estate following a person’s death. Just one method would be to challenge the validity of the will. Homemade wills are particularly risky and there are many ways in which DIY wills can go wrong. There is an article Richard Tinkler has written about this in the ‘Blog’ section of the website.
You may not be able to control whether a claim will be made against your estate, but what you can control is the likelihood of its success. Every case, of course, depends on its own circumstances so always take legal advice from a trusted professional about your own set of circumstances.
This article was written 21 July 2020 and the law may change following this date.
Richard Tinkler is an Associate Solicitor based at the Helliwell House office in Wroxham. Capron & Helliwell offer a fixed fee first appointment for family law matters - for details or to book an appointment please contact Dawn Pennell on 01692 581231.
This article aims to supply general information but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek specific advice.