Emotional Aspect Of Will Disputes ‘Should Not Be Underestimated’

Specialist Calls For Writers To Make Documents Clear

08.06.2011

People who are preparing Wills should always consider the potential emotional fallout and consequences from failing to ensure that their Will expresses their wishes clearly, according to a contested Will specialist.

Adam Draper, an associate in Irwin Mitchell’s Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team, made the call while acknowledging the growing number of reports across the globe which show families are as keen as ever to take their battles over their inheritance to the courts.

He outlined: “One particular Will disputes story that has caught the eye regards a South African millionaire whose nephews are battling over the terms of her Will.

“The judge made the observation that the claims suggest the family’s relationships have broken down and questioned whether the dispute will ultimately be worth the problems it has caused.”

Adam went on to outline that, while those who are launching action often have to think carefully before doing so, Will writers need to pay special attention to how they phrase even the shortest of lines to avoid any ambiguity.

“We see the devastating impact that Will and estate disputes can have on families, leading to increasingly fractious and ultimately broken down relationships,” he advised.

“Unfortunately, there is an argument that cases of people contesting Wills serve to demonstrate how important it is for people in the process of writing a Will to ensure it is clear and in line with their wishes.

“Seeking specialist legal advice can play a vital role in preventing so many of the problems we see both in the news and in our own cases. This would hopefully ensure none of their loved ones would face the prospect of falling out with their nearest and dearest over their prospects of an inheritance.”

If you are involved in a will dispute or need further information about contesting a will, please visit our Will, Trust & Estate Disputes section