The Government has bowed to pressure from families, taxpayer groups and probate solicitors by announcing a U-turn on its plans to increase probate fees – a move which had been branded as a “stealth tax”, a “death tax”, and an “abuse of power” by assorted critics, including MPs.
An important and interesting inheritance dispute claim has been heard at the High Court. The contested probate issue between stepsisters sought to establish which of their parents was the first to die in order to determine the way in which the estate's assets should be distributed.
According to the Alzheimer's Society around 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, with this figure set to rise to more than 1 million by 2025 and more than 2 million by 2051. The organisation says that 225,000 people will develop dementia this year – that's one roughly every three minutes.
The possibility for a disputed Will increases when there is a mental health issue, so, it is vital for anybody with assets – no more matter how small – to keep an up-to-date Will in place so that their wishes are clear in the event of mental incapacity or death. Read on for our top tips on avoiding contested probate if dementia or mental health issues are a factor for you.
Making a legally binding Will is the only way you can be assured that your estate, i.e. your money, property, investments and other assets and possessions, will be distributed in the way you wish them to be after your death. If you do not ensure that the document is legally enforceable and do not update it as and when necessary, it may unfortunately come to pass that your estate’s future does not align with your wishes.
Losing a loved one, particularly a close family member such as a spouse, parent, grandparent or sibling, is likely to bring with it innumerable practical and spiritual challenges.
It is hard then, if when we are in the process of trying to digest our loss and attempting to recalibrate our positions in the world, we become bogged down by the bureaucratic demands of death and all the feelings of powerlessness and impersonality these can engender.