A recent report has found that the number of Wills and probate disputes making their way to HM Courts and Tribunals system increased by 6% in 2018.
The research, carried out by Direct Line Life Insurance, also highlighted that HM Courts and Tribunals received 8,159 caveats to block or amend a grant of probate. As it costs £20 per caveat, the report emphasises that this will cost the UK public at least £160,000 even before any legal costs are added.
The research indicated that 12.6 million people would be prepared to circumvent a loved ones Will if they feel it does not represent their true feelings and wishes.
When this is broken down into regions, Southampton residents are most likely to contest a Will, with 31% ready to lodge their disapproval if necessary. This is closely followed by those living in London and Norwich (29%).
Residents of Sheffield were the most likely to respect the wishes of a loved one’s will with only 11% willing to contest the wises of a loved one.
Jane Morgan, business manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, said: “While our research reveals people are increasingly contesting wills, everyone has the right to choose how they’d like to distribute their assets, even if it seems unusual or excludes even the closest family members.
“People can be surprised and hurt by the contents of a will, so people may wish to discuss with beneficiaries and those that might think they would inherit, how they plan to distribute their assets.
“Those who do wish to leave an additional provision beyond the assets in their estate should consider investing in a life insurance policy, as it can offer additional financial support for loved ones when someone passes away.”
The research found that caveats were lodged when a family member questioned the legality of a Will, the testamentary capacity of the donor when the Will was made and dependent on who applied for probate.
Have you noticed an increase in contested Wills over recent years?