• February 29, 2024
 2 in 3 people would take family or friends to court if excluded from will – study

2 in 3 people would take family or friends to court if excluded from will – study

Nearly two in three people in the UK would be prepared to take their family or friends to court if they were wrongfully excluded from a loved one’s will, a new study has found.

JMW solicitors surveyed 1,000 UK adults on their knowledge and opinions surrounding contentious probate and will disputes.

The results identified that 60% of UK people are likely to contest a will if they feel they have been wrongfully excluded. Furthermore, if the challenge was to progress to court, 62% would continue to contest the will, while 60% said they would still challenge a will if it meant going up against a friend or relative.

“There are always difficult emotions and situations following the death of a loved one; however, the distress can be amplified if there are problems with their last will and testament,” said Alison Parry, Head of the Will Disputes team at JMW Solicitors.

One-in-five people surveyed anticipate being involved in a dispute over someone’s estate in the future due to relationships within their family.

Almost 10% of survey respondents have contested a will, with lack of testamentary capacity being the most common reason for making a challenge (45%). This was followed by lack of due execution (25%) and fraud or forgery (14%).

A spouse was the most common relationship of someone who has contested a will (17%), while ex-spouse was another common relationship at 13%.

However, despite the relative bullishness of respondents insofar as challenging a will, separate studies have suggested the majority of the UK avoids discussing the topic of inheritance altogether.

Specifically, despite 72% anticipating that they will leave some sort of inheritance to their loved ones, some 66% of people have not discussed the topic with their family due to its purported awkwardness, according to a Tower Street Finance poll of 2,000 adults in the UK who are – or expect to be – the beneficiary of a will.

What’s more, nearly a quarter of respondents said inheritance is the most awkward of any conversation they could have.

Jamie Lennox, Editor, Today's Wills and Probate

Editor of Today's Conveyancer, Today's Wills and Probate, and Today's Family Lawyer Contact LinkedIn jamie.lennox@todaysmedia.co.uk Twitter