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The Kings Court Trust Blog

Keeping you up-to-date with Wills, probate and estate administration industry news

Who died first? The latest High Court battle over inheritance

on Aug 16, 2019 10:33:00 AM By | Kings Court Trust | Will Disputes Inheritance Disputes
The number of inheritance disputes reaching the England and Wales High Court has dramatically increased over the last 15 years. In 2005, there were just 15 cases brought to the High Court under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, compared to 158 cases in 2016. These statistics only cover a small proportion of the overall number of inheritance disputes as many arguments will be settled before reaching the High Court.
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Handwritten Will found under sofa cushion in Aretha Franklin’s home

Aretha Franklin died on the 16th of August 2018 at the age of 76 after an ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer. Recent news reports have now revealed how a handwritten Will has been discovered under a sofa cushion in the Queen of Soul’s home in Detroit. To ensure the Will’s validity, it is being examined by a handwriting expert.
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Inheritance disputes set to increase as more British adults are willing to dispute a Will

on Mar 13, 2019 11:31:08 AM By | Kings Court Trust | Will Disputes Inheritance Disputes
Recent research highlights the increasing likelihood of disputes over inheritance. According to Direct Line Life Insurance, 12.6 million British adults would be prepared to dispute a Will and go to court if they disagreed with the division of their relative’s estate. On average, 22% of UK residents would contest a loved one’s Will, 13% would be willing to contest their parent’s Will, and 11% would contest their partner’s Will*.
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Regulation of Will writing popular amongst the public

The public are in favour of Will writing becoming a regulated practice and are hoping the UK government will soon look to implement some form of regulation in the near future, according to the Law Gazette.
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The most peculiar Will requests

Kings Court Trust firmly believes in the benefits of having a professional help draft a Will to ensure that everybody’s final wishes are made clear and carried out accurately. Drafting a Will and carefully considering what is to happen to our finances is not the most cheery of topics, but one that should be taken very seriously.
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How a cheap Will could leave your family in ruins

With recent research suggesting that half of the British public don’t have a Will, there is no doubt that many of us need to consider formally writing down our wishes on how our estate will be dealt with upon our death.  However, it is important to remember that while a cheap DIY kit or some scribbled notes could be legally binding, a Will that isn’t professionally drafted substantially increases the chances of it causing problems after your death.
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Fake Will salesman jailed

We recently came across a news article that highlights the importance of seeking trusted, professional advice when it comes to having your Will written. Samuel Eaton posed as a Wills specialist and salesman but has been jailed for swindling vulnerable pensioners out of their cash by selling them fake legal documents and trust deeds.   Eaton did this while trading under the guise of The Pensioners' Association and The Senior Citizens' Advice Centre, while his promotional leaflets and business cards implied that he was also connected to the charities Age UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Sense. During one of his visits, he also played a DVD of a BBC documentary related to Wills and trusts to further convince his victims to part with their cash and add gravitas to his operation.   Judge Alan Conrad, QC, commented that Eaton had taken time to choose his specific victims carefully and that he was guilty of "serious offences involving a number of different victims, some particularly vulnerable."   The local authorities were alerted to Eaton's acts when the son of one of his victims contacted them after both he and his parents handed over £1,100. When examined, the documents created by Eaton were discovered to be inconsistent, ambiguous and full of errors.  Eaton has been sentenced to eight months in jail and has also been fined £3,950.   David Birrell, representing the prosecution, said: "It is clear that each of his victims believed that his operations were charitable, rather than commercial ventures.  There was a lack of professional diligence on the part of the defendant."   Kings Court Trust always recommends that individuals seek professional advice when it comes to preparing your Will, ideally from a firm that is a member of a reputable professional body such as the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW).  In doing so, you can be confident that you are dealing with a firm that abides by a code of conduct and ethics when dealing with customers.  For more information, visit www.ipw.org.uk.
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When William Herd died he left £300,000 but his only son never saw a penny: Why you must write a Will

We’re sure you were as equally shocked as we were to hear about this case today. Stuart Herd’s widowed father, William, remarried at 67. His son Stuart was delighted as he’d feared his father would live out the rest of his days alone, after the death of his wife, Freda, in 1986.
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