By Faye Evans TEP, Partner at Churchers Solicitors.
In recent years, the courts have seen a rise in ‘contentious probate’ cases. Otherwise known as ‘contesting the will’ or, more simply put: families fighting after someone has died (most commonly over money).
Why is this happening?
There are a couple of likely causes. The rise in house prices has meant that there is more, in financial terms, to fight over than what used to be the case; people feel it is more likely to be worth their while, worth the risk of court proceedings. Add to that a move generally towards a more litigious society and you get a perfect storm of discontent brewing on the drive home from the funeral parlour.
How can I protect myself?
There is no way to guarantee there won’t be any disputes after your death, however, there are steps you can take to minimise the likelihood of this and to minimise costs to your estate:
Finding a Solicitor
The Law Society, STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), and SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly), all have details of suitably qualified and regulated specialist solicitors who can advise you further.
If you have any questions or wish to seek advice on any issue concerning the writing of a will, management of an estate or lasting power of attorney, please call Faye or someone from her team on 023 9282 0747.
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