In recent years there has been a significant growth in challenges to Wills or entitlements to grants of representation. This trend of increasing contentious probate cases emphasises the need for proactive estate planning and dispute resolution strategies.
One driver for these disputes lies in the complexities of personal relationships. Divorces, remarriages, and the blending of families can create volatile situations, making it crucial to address potential conflicts in estate planning. Another is financial assistance provided to family members for education or property purchases. This can inadvertently sow the seeds of discord upon one’s passing. The death of a family member may trigger suppressed tensions, compelling disgruntled heirs to contest the will.
Escalating property prices have also played a pivotal role in probate disputes. The substantial sums at stake in these cases can tempt beneficiaries into litigation.
To safeguard your estate from becoming embroiled in contentious probate, consider the following preventive measures:
- Consult with legal professionals to create a comprehensive will that aligns with your wishes.
- Ensure your will remains up-to-date and in accordance with changing legislation.
- Select executors who can responsibly manage your estate and mitigate conflicts.
- If disputes loom, seek legal advice before initiating court proceedings to explore amicable resolutions.
- Attempt mediation to resolve disputes, preventing costs and emotions from spiralling out of control.
The growth of contentious probate cases underscores the importance of proactive estate planning. These measures can help protect estates and promote family harmony in the face of challenging circumstances.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you would like to discuss anything in this article, please get in touch.