DISPUTES ABOUT PROBATE - CONTENTIOUS DIY WILLS
Disputes about probate are on the increase. No doubt you've seen the ads for do-it-yourself will kits. Perhaps you've even considered making your own will with one of these services. Before you do so, ask yourself, are you truly confident in the effectiveness of a DIY will? Is this the document you really want to leave behind to speak to your intentions after you pass away? Working with a qualified probate solicitor is the only way to ensure that your testamentary wishes are made a reality.
Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign and for the sake of your beneficiaries it is important that it you avoid disputes about probate by getting it right. The distribution of everything you own depends on the terms of your will – and more importantly, on its validity. Homes in the United Kingdom average several hundred thousand pounds in value. Today's citizens will be leaving behind substantial estates. A homemade will often leaves doubt as to whether your assets will actually be distributed according to your wishes and leaves the door open to disputes about probate. There is no one else like you, so how can a mass-produced will possibly account for every aspect of your estate? Protect your assets and your loved ones by using a solicitor to draft your will and avoid disputes about probate.
You are taking a big gamble when you rely on a DIY will. You wouldn't lay out a couple hundred thousand pounds on a black jack table. Yet, thousands of people take an even more serious risk by utilising DIY wills. Solicitors who operate profitable firms sorting out the problems left behind by invalid wills can tell you that it's an area rife with pitfalls. Numerous technical requirements must be met in order to draft and execute a valid will. Here are just a few of the mistakes common in DIY wills that can defeat your testamentary wishes causing serious disputes about probate :
Getting out a pen and signing your will sounds simple enough. However, executing a will is much more complicated than a mere signature. There are specific requirements for executing a legally binding will that avoids disputes about probate. If those requirements are not followed, then the entire will becomes invalid.
Your will should distribute all of the assets in your estate. Without assistance from a solicitor, it can be easy to overlook an asset. Should you fail to bequeath a certain assist in your will, the Crown can step in and claim that property. An easily avoided mistake could result in the Government taking property you wanted your loved ones to have.
Life can take unexpected turns. Your will must account for numerous contingencies. DIY wills, however, are typically a skeleton outline, covering only the very basics. Suppose, for example, that one of the beneficiaries of your will were to pass away before you. If your will doesn't address such a possibility, you could leave behind undistributed assets that will ultimately be claimed by the State.
Again, the circumstances of our lives change. Events such as birth, death, marriage and divorce will likely have a large impact on your testamentary wishes. DIY wills rarely cover such scenarios. A wills and probate solicitor has the experience necessary to recognise and account for these types of contingencies.
If a beneficiary of the will is involved in the preparation or execution of the will, then that beneficiary may lose their inheritance. In the eyes of the law, a certain extent of involvement in the will making process by a beneficiary is undue influence. With a solicitor guiding you through the will making process, any type of inappropriate involvement by a beneficiary can be avoided.
Those who depend on the testator, such as a spouse or minor, have a right to continued support after the testator has passed away. Failing to adequately provide these dependents can result in contentious probate and legal disputes for the people you leave behind.
Our solicitors use plain English in consulting with clients and preparing documents – you will never be confused by legal jargon. Our solicitors are qualified to handle contentious cases, such as questions over the validity of a will or claims to the estate made by a non-beneficiary. For a free consultation, complete and send the contact form or call us on our helpline. You will speak with one of our experienced solicitors who will provide you with no charge, no obligation advice about your case.