How to avoid Will disputes
26 Nov 2019
Making a Will is an important responsibility that ensures your loved ones are left with helpful and practical guidance. It puts you firmly in control of who benefits as well as what they are entitled to. However, poorly written Wills may be invalid or can result in the Will being disputed. Here are our tips on how to avoid Will disputes:
What is a Will dispute?
A Will dispute is a disagreement between relatives or loved ones which results in the Will being contested in Court. There has been an increase in the number of inheritance disputes being held at Court, rising from 227 in 2018 to 368 in 2019.
Failure to make a Will can eventually lead to complications further down the line. This is because the Laws of Intestacy decides who benefits from your estate. Additionally, the law sets a hierarchy of who can handle your financial affairs after death. This can lead to issues if the person selected is unsuitable due to age, health, location or any other reason.
How you can avoid a Will dispute
Once you have decided to prepare a Will, you will next have to determine the clauses that you wish to contain. There are certain issues to consider when preparing a Will.
Whoever benefits from your Will is an important issue that needs to be considered. You should contemplate the following when preparing a Will:
- Could your spouse remarry and disinherit their children?
- Can they cut out estranged children and what rights do they have?
- What happens if there are children from previous relationships?
Who you choose to deal with the administration of your Estate, is an important decision that must also be carefully considered. Your partner and children may seem like the logical choice, however, if they do not get along, you should consider the appointment of an impartial or professional Executor. This ensures that your estate and finances, as well as any other affairs, are managed fairly. If there are any children who are minors, Executors will also act as Trustees that will manage a child’s inheritance until they reach the age of inheritance, as specified in the Will.
The chance of any disputes or issues occurring is significantly reduced if a clear and detailed Will is prepared. By utilising the expertise of a suitably qualified solicitor, you can ensure that your wishes, along with any potential disputes, are discussed and taken into consideration when the Will is prepared.
For more information, or to make an appointment to prepare a Will with one of our solicitors, please telephone 01202 484 242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.