Recent reports show a significant rise in the number of disgruntled distant relatives challenging Wills, particularly when money has been left to animal charities.
Often seen as an easy target and less dramatic that challenging amounts left for other family members, it is believed that the current financial backdrop could be to blame for charities losing out on money intended for them.
In such difficult economic times and with households feeling the strain of rising living costs, many appear to be relying on small windfalls assumed to have left to them by more distant relatives. When these are not in place, it is often charities donations that are contested by nieces and nephews keen to stake a claim to assets.
The most recent figures from the Charities Aid Foundation show that in 2011, £1.8 billion was left to charities, suggesting that the potential for such challenges could be huge. The cost of challenging a Will can be anywhere between £25k and £50k plus.
At The Law House, we understand that creating a Will means making difficult decisions, but we are here to support your intentions and help ensure that your wishes are upheld. This can be as straightforward as placing a letter with your Will stating clearly your reasons for the decisions you have made and why you have not included certain members of your family. This letter would only be used if a challenge is made. While this action may not prevent them challenging your Will it may make them think twice about doing so.
Our solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with all aspects of Will creation and execution. Our proactive approach provides comprehensive support for you and your family, focusing on your individual needs and encouraging regular updates to your Will in order to keep it current for your peace of mind.
To speak to one of our Wills, trusts and probate experts about how we can help you make necessary plans or discuss any concerns you may have about an existing Will, please contact a member of our team on 020 8956 2655 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.