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‘Range Of Factors’ Behind Record Increase In Will Dispute Enquiries

Experts Comment On Latest Trends


More complicated family structures and better awareness of options are two of the potential reasons which Will Disputes specialists at Irwin Mitchell believe could be behind the record increase in enquiries they have seen in January 2012.

So far this year the national law firm’s Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team have seen a 40 per cent year-on-year increase in enquiries and have said that a number of factors could be behind the rise.

Louise Sykes, the Partner who leads the team, said: “We’re hearing from a growing number of people from a range of backgrounds, including the farming sector, in relation to the concerns they have over an inheritance or the way that a loved one’s estate has been divided.

“There could be a range of reasons for this. For instance, family matters have changed significantly in the 21st century, with situations where people divorce and remarry becoming increasingly common. Unsurprisingly, this means that battles between extended family in relation to that person’s estate are also more common.

“In addition, with the value of property increasing over the past 30 years or so, many people might simply believe that gaining what they believe to be theirs is worth fighting for.”

Louise added that increasing access to advice and support on such issues could also by why more people are keen to come forward.

“So many people are increasingly aware, through high-profile cases in the media and other outlets, of how options are available for them to bring a claim under the Inheritance Act 1975 if they feel that they have concerns over how an estate has been managed or split.

“In addition, more advice than ever before is on offer. For example, we operate a free 24-7 legal helpline which means people can get advice on disputes or issues related to wills whenever they need it.”

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