Fights over Wills soaring as public bury heads in sand, claims legal expert

Family feuds over Wills are rapidly increasing with many of the public failing to have their affairs in order before they pass away, claims Coalvilles’s leading law firm

Peter Chadwick, of QualitySolicitors Mander Cruickshank, said figures for court disputes over Wills have more than doubled since 2006, and show no signs of abating.

“Sadly, hugely costly and destructive battles over deceased estates is something the legal profession is seeing more of and in some cases these could be avoided,” said Mr Chadwick, who has more than 30 years’ experience in this field of law.

““More complicated family structures are a major contributory factor in this,” he added. “In many families, one or both partners will have had previous relationships. Perhaps they will have been married before. Perhaps they may not be married to their current partner, but have children together as well as children from previous relationships.”

“This creates a problem, which means Wills need to be kept up to date. Often this isn’t the case as making a Will seldom seems urgent especially among younger people, and therefore it tends to be put off,” he added.

He said that every year many people die without a Will , known as dying intestate, and where that happens there are strict rules dating back to 1925, when family structures were less complicated than today, which set out who is entitled to your estate. He said the take no account whatsoever for non-matrimonial relationships so those living with someone they are not legally married to, will get nothing from a partner’s estate unless a Will has been made.

“We need people to help their loved ones at what will be one of the most difficult times whilst they are grieving,” he added. “Loved ones need as much help as possible when they are still coming to terms with their loss and a family falling out is horrendous.”

He warned that the public need to realise they have very little protection if a poorly drafted Will is drawn up.

“Unfortunately, there are many cheap Wills online, or offered by non-regulated providers who may not carry any insurance or may no longer be in business by the time a problem with a Will comes to light,” he said.

“Due to the large sums involved, and the reassurance of peace of mind means using a well-respected firm of solicitors is still by far the best decision. Also, you will be protected by professional indemnity insurance in the unlikely problem with a solicitor-drawn Will,” he added.

“It is very simple, and there is really not any excuse for not doing it,” he said. “All those uneasy about hearing this should pick up the phone and arrange an appointment.”

Anyone wishing to speak to QualitySolicitors Mander Cruickshank about legal issues can do so on 01530 510666.

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