Will Disputes Increase Dramatically

Judith Thompson

Inheritance disputes have tripled in the last year. One of the reasons is thought to be caused by problems with the way wills are being drafted, particularly due to the increased use of unregulated will writers and the use of DIY wills. And another is the increased use of friends or family as executors, rather than professionals.

Disputes about wills are often dealt with in court as claims against executors. Claims against executors can arise when an executor misinterprets a will and favours one beneficiary over another, either deliberately or because a will has not been drafted properly. Recent cases have even involved theft of the deceased's assets by executors, for their own benefit. As families become more complex, the potential for disputes about wills will no doubt continue to increase. 

The cost of resolving these disputes in Court, is significantly higher than the cost of having wills professionally drafted and administered.  

The Law Society has been campaigning for many years for will writing to be regulated. However, their recommendations have not been followed and only the clients of solicitors have any protection from a regulator if a will is drafted negligently.

The vast majority of executors are of course perfectly honest, but even they could struggle to deal with a badly drafted will.

You can avoid the stress and distress (and of course costs) of a dispute over your will, by having it professionally drafted and your estate professionally administered. 

Samuels has well established and highly respected expertise in this work. Contact a member of our private client team for a free, no obligation discussion.