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will and probate disputes

Will Disputes & Probate Disputes

Michael Bower (Director/Litigation) and Lisa Wood (Litigation) both successfully handle a variety of will disputes & probate disputes each year.

The WTW litigation team provide straightforward and realistic legal advice.

Why do these disputes happen?

  • Over the past few years an increasing number of us have chosen to ‘write your own’ will or used a will writing company.
  • There has been an increase in the number of ‘probate disputes’ where the wills have proved to be invalid.
  • Family members and/or beneficiaries have challenged wills on the basis of their interests in the estate.

Will & probate disputes can cause issues & arguments between family members & beneficiaries that were never intended and could easily have been avoided if the right advice had been sought.

Free Initial Enquiry

We would be delighted to explain how we can help you. For your free, initial enquiry, please:

 

Top Tips to avoid will disputes & probate disputes and to ensure that your will is valid

1. The mental capacity of the will maker (Testamentary)
You must have the required mental capacity to understand what is in your will and be over 18 years of age.

2. Proper execution of the Will
Your signature must be witnessed by two people (preferably individuals who do not benefit from the will) who should sign the
document in your presence.

3. Undue influence
You should not be mentally or physically pressured or coerced in relation to your will.

4. Identification of beneficiaries
You must ensure that any beneficiaries are clearly defined. For example, terms such as ‘Gifts to Children’ can cause
complications in respect of step, adopted or illegitimate children.

5. Others who could claim for benefit under a will
You must ensure the beneficiaries & the benefit they will derive from your estate is clear. The law recognises certain people
who could make a claim from your estate whether they have been included in your will (but believe the benefit is insufficient)
or not e.g. current or former spouses & civil partners, co-habitees & children.

6. Lost wills
You must always leave your will in a safe place and where the executors can find it. If it is lost then itwill be presumed to
have been destroyed and your estate will be dealt with as though you had died ‘intestate’, without a will and with the Laws of
Intestacy you cannot assume that your estate will automatically go to the person or people you would like to benefit.

For a free initial consultation on will & probate disputes please contact us now on 01535 662644.