With the average age and wealth of the population increasing it is perhaps not a surprise that disputes surrounding the estates of those recently departed are also on the increase.
The importance of making a Will and a regular review of it cannot be underestimated. What may have provided reasonable financial provision in 1995 for someone who remains dependent upon you may not be so reasonable 10 years on.
People’s circumstances change. Depending on what your circumstances are, you may have more or perhaps less wealth then you did when you made your Will ten or twenty years ago. You may have the attitude ‘I won’t be here. Why should I care?’ or ‘It’ll never happen to me, I’ll sort it out later’. However, to avoid heartache for those whom you really do wish to make provision and who are dependent upon you, it really is important to take these matters very seriously.
Our firm’s Private Client Department can help you with preparing and executing your Will so as to avoid as far as possible successful challenges regarding its validity, particularly its form and execution and whether you had the mental capacity to make it. We will ensure that the Will is your Will and that you were making decisions freely and not being pressured by those around you. We can also assist you in considering provision for family members and dependents who may expect to be provided for within your Will, to reduce the risk of claims after your death against your estate for lack of reasonable financial provision in circumstances covered by the Inheritance (Provision for Family Independents) Act 1975.
Conversely, if you find that you have not been adequately provided for in a Will then our firm’s Dispute Resolution Department can help. Equally, you may have concerns that the Will of your friend or relative appears to have been made at a time when perhaps they did not know their mind or may have felt pressured by others.
Whether you wish to make a Will or are contemplating a claim against an estate, we can discuss all options available to you. There is a short and strict time limit within which to commence a claim under the above Act and so it is important that, if you do have such a claim, you seek advice as soon as possible.
For more information, please contact our Litigation Team on 01905 721600