CONTENTIOUS PROBATE CASE – DISPUTED WILLS
One major source of litigation for a contentious probate case is the DIY will kits that are on sale everywhere. The kits are advertised as a cheap, easy alternative to using a solicitor. In reality, what you're getting is a mass-produced document that does not take into account your personal financial and family situation. The odds are high that the executed document will fail to meet one or more legal requirements for a valid will, leaving your loved ones to face a contentious probate case.
Wills are a veritable minefield. Plenty of solicitors specialise solely in sorting through contentious probate caused by invalid wills. These are some of the most common mistakes made:
- improperly executing the will by failing to meet the requirements for witnesses and signatures
- failing to distribute all of the assets in your estate, thereby enabling the State to claim them
- failing to account for the possibility of a beneficiary dying before the testator
- improperly altering a will by failing to meet the requirements for a valid codicil
- failing to account for the effects of marriages, divorces, civil partnerships, births and deaths
- failing to make provisions for the support of dependents
There is no law requiring that a person make a will. Failing to do so, however, means that you have absolutely no say in how your property will ultimately be distributed. The average citizen in the UK today will leave behind a substantial estate. Homes alone are worth an average of several hundred thousand pounds. You have a clear choice: either you decide how your property will be divided up amongst your loved ones or a set of intestacy laws will make that decision for you. It is even possible that the State may be able to claim some of your assets.
A valid will can also help your loved ones avoid a contentious probate case. You can protect your assets and protect the people you love from expensive, prolonged legal battles. Every citizen in the UK should have a properly executed will. The size of your estate isn't what matters. What matters is ensuring that your wishes are carried out after you pass away.
An estate that exceeds the threshold for the inheritance tax will be taxed at a rate of 40%, based on the total value of the real property and assets. Additionally, under some circumstances a gift made during your lifetime could also be subjected to the inheritance tax. No one wants to see their assets handed over to the State in order to pay off inheritance tax. You want as much of your estate as possible to go to your loved ones. A qualified solicitor can help you lawfully minimise the amount of taxes that will be due on your estate through carefully planning.
Our specialist probate solicitors capable of handling all of your will, probate and estate planning needs. We communicate with our clients in plain English. You'll never have to translate confusing legal jargon. Our solicitors remain current in the latest legal precedents to provide you with the highest quality of service. To receive a free consultation just contact us through the form on this website or our helpline.