Despite the government’s recent announcement on the withdrawal of legal aid for Contested Will Claims, cases have continued to rise. In 2009 only 110 cases came to trial in the High Court, compared with 80 the previous year and just 10 in 2006.
There are several possible reasons for this increase, including:
• property prices have risen relative to legal fees over the past ten years and as such lawyers are more likely to take on a strong claim involving a property
• increasingly complex family structures
• the growing trend for DIY wills, which often give rise to doubts as to validity of the Will
• the claimant’s own financial uncertainty
• a sense of grievance at the injustice of a loved relative
Contested Will claimants are often understandably emotional after suffering a bereavement and without knowing the right sources to consult, may rush into entering a Caveat, the first formal stage in a Court action. Unless their claim is dealt with correctly they leave themselves vulnerable to substantial costs.
Whatever the circumstances, it is imperative that you seek legal, professional and impartial advice from the outset. As specialist Contested Probate Solicitors we act regularly for Executors, Trustees and family members.
To find out more about a contested will, contact our Contested Will Lawyers today
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