We recently came across an article on Money Observer which discussed the possible reasons behind why the number of will disputes has been steadily rising over the past few years – information we at Kings Court Trust are of course very interested in.
Statistics from the High Court show that claims brought against executors for mishandling wills have almost tripled over the past 12 months, and cases launched relating to disputes over the content of wills have increased by 700% in a five year period. Not only this, but cases where wills are being argued as invalid have increased by 100%.
Will disputes can often be hard on the family and friends, as more often than not the contents of a will are only made public once the individual has deceased. The number of friends and family members taking the place of professional executors, as well as the rise in popularity of DIY wills, have been pointed out as possible reasons for the rise in disputes. Other reasons include longer lifespans and an increasingly wealthy population.
The economic recession may have caused some individuals to contest a will, which they may not have done had the economic climate been more agreeable; but also an increase in the number of divorces has meant the traditional family unit has become shattered, causing more controversy for those involved.
If a will is suspected of being misinterpreted or drafted incorrectly, then a claim may be brought against the executor. As the cost of disputing wills in court can be staggering, The Law Society has been campaigning for will writing to be regulated for a while.
What other reasons can you think of that may have caused this increase in disputes?