A disagreement of a deceased person’s estate can take varied forms, whether it is between executors and beneficiaries, the interpretation of a will or the value of the estate.
The internal (i.e. within the family or immediate beneficiaries) and external (third parties) have been able to challenge a will for some time. This ‘challenging of a Will’ has made strong and frequent headlines in the national press particularly in recent times and regrettably cases such as these are on the increase.
Disagreements over a written Will, the belief that one would inherit something and in reality actually receives less than expected, has seen a rise in challenges to the legality of the Will. Equally poor legal advice in the planning stages of the Will writing has also seen many actions taken against the original writers or law firms. The increasing wealth of many clients and particularly as the tax burden on the estate continues to fall to one’s beneficiaries, these actions and claims are also becoming more expensive with larger compensations and damages as a result. Family members who feel they may lose out on their share are increasingly turning to the legal world to recover some of those losses.
This growing pressure on finances coupled with an increasing population has ultimately resulted in an ‘expectation lead’ society. This is particularly relevant with regards to the younger members of our families who believe they have the right to inherit.
The continued dilution of regulated Will writers, seeing the service becoming available on the high street by unregulated Will suppliers at a low cost, is also a significant factor.
Our contentious probate team is extremely experienced and the head of this department is Richard Roberts, currently the Chair of the Wills and Equity committee of the Law Society. He is an ACTAPS accredited solicitor with some thirty years experience in this field. Richard is also a court appointed Independent Administrator and is regularly appointed as such to administer these types of estate. Richard’s personal experience, calming nature, balanced and hands-on approach to these matters often leads to resolution efficiently. Applying his in-depth knowledge and mediation to establish quickly the facts of the case often lead to a successful and cost effective outcome.