Inheritance disputes increase in number

7 November, 2017

In August 2017, The Financial Times reported  that there had been a 36% surge in inheritance disputes being brought to the High Court in 2016.  158 claims were brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, up from 116 such claims in 2015.

This represents the tip of the iceberg – most inheritance claims are resolved privately before Court proceedings are issued or before trial.

Why then are this type of Will dispute increasing in number? To answer this, you need to understand who is bringing these claims, being family members or dependants who believe that a Will fails to make reasonable provision for them. In our experience there are 

many reasons why such people are motivated to dispute a Will including: the presence of increasingly complex family structures making the division of estates more challenging; the value of estates increasing and hence supporting such claims; an increasing awareness of this type of claim and a willingness to pursue it.

To ensure your Will clearly disposes of your estate as you wish and to safeguard, as far as possible, against claims being made after your death, we recommend preparing your Will with the assistance of a solicitor, who can advise on potential problems, and ensuring you update your Will regularly. Conversely, if you think you may be in a position to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, contact our Specialist Disputes team using the contact details on this page to discuss this further.

If you are concerned an executor is not appropriately carrying out their duties please contact Philip Youdan at philip.youdan@crippspg.co.uk  or by phone on: 01732 224 013.

For further information about Will disputes and disputes involving trusts and estates, please click here to view our Guide to Will Trust and Estate Disputes.  We can also discuss the possible options for funding your claim and may, in appropriate cases, be able to offer a “no win, no fee” arrangement or a fixed fee.