As the price of property in the UK continues to soar, so too does the rate of Will disputes over family property. For example, in 2013 the High Court heard 97 will disputes; by 2015 this number was 164.
This is because, with the average value of a house in the UK now exceeding £250,000, and £1.4 million in Central London, any estate which includes real estate among its assets has the potential to change the lives of beneficiaries named in a Will.
However, not all Will disputes involving family property are simply about money. Family properties often hold strong sentimental value or may serve as a base for close and extended family to get together during festive and holiday periods. In some cases, certain members of the family may wish to keep the property in the family while others may wish to sell it.
Whatever side of the fence you find yourself on, Oratto's member Will dispute lawyers can help you uphold your full legal rights so that you do not lose any of your possible entitlement. For more information contact us today by using one of the contact options listed on this page.
Claims expected to rise
It is anticipated that as property prices continue to increase this will be reflected in the incidence of family Will dispute claims. To compound this, by 2020, couples will be able to leave up to £1 million to their children without incurring inheritance tax.
As it currently stands beneficiaries have to pay an inheritance tax rate of 40 percent on estates worth in excess of £325,000. It is clear, therefore, that as properties become even more valuable, they will become more desirable, greatly increasing the scope for and value of Will disputes involving family property.
Blended families and greater wealth
As the traditional family unit has given way to an array of complicated "blended" family structures it has led to increased confusion and contention at the point of probate.
Also, because of increased prosperity in our society there has been a rise in the number of cases of children of deceased parents challenging charitable provisions in Wills. This is because many parents, feeling that their children are financially secure, make arrangements for their assets, including properties, to be distributed to charities.
However, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 children have a right to challenge these arrangements if they feel they have not been adequately provided for.
Grounds for property inheritance disputes
You may feel you have one or more reasons for making a family property Will dispute claim. Such grounds may include the following:
- The Will did not reflect the wishes of the deceased
- You are a close family member or dependent of the deceased but have not been provided for under the Will or the rules of intestacy (Inadequate provision, as defined by the Inheritance [Provision for Family and Dependants] Act 1975)
- You believe the Will was made with undue influence
- You believe the Will was made without testamentary capacity
- The Will has been made invalid through improper execution
- The Will is forged or fraudulent
- The Will is factually incorrect
- You did not receive what you were promised
Whatever the reason for your grievance over a Will, Oratto's member lawyers can help you ascertain and then uphold your full rights under inheritance law so that you receive all that you are legally entitled to.
Claims arising from misadministration
In addition to the above listed instances, it may also be possible to make a Will dispute claim if you believe that the executor or administrator of an estate is negligent or mishandling the administration of an estate. In such a situation, a probate solicitor can assist with a court application challenging the appointment of the relevant person.
Similarly, in some situations it may be possible to make a claim for breach of trust and for the responsible parties to compensate you for any losses arising from their mishandling.
Property dispute Wills solicitor
Oratto's member Wills dispute lawyers can help you uphold your full legal rights in relation to a disputed Will.
Browse through the profiles of our member specialists or, try our Oratto Match facility so that we can help you find the specialist best suited to your case.
Oratto – helping you find sensitive and authoritative support through a Will dispute so that you can uphold your rights with confidence.