Inheritance disputes on the rise

10th June 2016

In recent years, the number of families contesting a relative’s will has risen by 200 per cent, and it is said that that one in ten adults have fallen out with a family member over inheritance.

No longer considered the preserve of the super-wealthy or famous, an inheritance dispute can take any number of forms, from concerns that a will has been incorrectly made or forged, to a dependant believing that they have been unfairly been left out or not received what they were entitled to.

Jagdip Bains, dispute resolution solicitor at Ansons Solicitors in Lichfield explains that the rise in inheritance disputes is due to a number of factors. The use of home-made wills is a major contributor, but the rise in these types of disputes also reflects the changing nature of our society.

‘Higher rates of divorce, re-marriage and co-habitation combined with an increase in the value of estates, and greater awareness of rights means that relatives will no longer just stand by and watch their inheritance be taken from them,’ says Jagdip.

Disputes can also arise over the choice and conduct of executors and trustees who are responsible for overseeing the probate process, paying inheritance tax and distributing gifts according to the terms of the will.

Anyone with concerns about a will, or the probate process should act quickly and take legal advice as soon as possible as there are strict time limits to make a claim.

Jagdip is a registered member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists and works closely with the private client team at Ansons Solicitors. She advises families and individuals on disputes over wills, probate and inheritance such as:

 challenging the validity of a will;

  • disputes between executors and beneficiaries;
  • removal of executors;
  • claims arising from the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975; and
  • disputes relating to the ownership of property and proprietary estoppel claims.

 Jagdip also advises on disputes in the Court of Protection involving lasting powers of attorneys, contested deputy applications and the removal of attorneys and deputies for breaching their duties.

If you are concerned about the validity of a will, or involved in an inheritance dispute contact Jagdip Bains on 01543 267 196 or email Ansons Solicitors has offices in Cannockand Lichfield, Staffordshire.