A poll of British people reveals millions would dispute a will if unhappy with result of the awarding of assets went down. The poll by Direct Line Life Insurance found that over 12.6 million British people would challenge a will in court.
- Especially if the division of assets was inappropriate.
- Even if the testator’s will was current and clear.
This finding is particularly interesting when we consider that around half don’t write a will at all. They don’t because they presume that their assets will automatically go to their spouse, partner or children by default.
Why Some Would Dispute a Will if Unhappy with Result
However, complications arise with:
- multiple marriages,
- non-traditional families and;
- couples free of weddings who live together.
Some people fail to update their will and sometimes a main benefactor may already be gone themselves. There were over 8,100 applications to contest wills in 2017, a 6% increase over 12 months. These ‘grants of probate’ cost £20 to file. That means British people spent £160,000 in one year on raising issues with wills.
According to a family solicitors, the most common reason for contesting a will in the UK is that the testator was under ‘undue influence’. In essence, someone faces pressure to sign a will which did not necessarily represent their true wishes. These petitions are not often successful: the challenger needs to provide a high level of proof.
Wills can also face challenges on the grounds of ‘testamentary capacity.’ In short, the legal and mental ability of a person to alter or make their will is in doubt.
There are also ‘rectification and construction’ claims that face contesting. This is the claim that a clerical error was made when drafting the will, and it didn’t truly reflect the testator’s wishes.
Business manager at Direct Line life insurance, Jane Morgan, says:
‘While people are increasingly contesting wills, everyone has the right to choose how they’d like to distribute their assets. Even if it seems unusual or excludes even the closest family members. People can be surprised and hurt by the contents of a will. So people may wish to discuss with beneficiaries and those that might think they would inherit. How they plan to distribute their assets.’
The difficulties of when you dispute a will
Unfortunately, the issue of money and trust is often problematic before death. A recent study reveals only half of adults would trust a family member to manage their finances if they could no longer do it themselves. A study by a legal service also found that over 33% don’t have a family member we would trust to take care of our affairs. Essentially, we don’t believe our family can manage our own money when we can’t do it ourselves.
It’s therefore even more surprising to learn that nearly 80% of those aged over 45 do not have a lasting power of attorney (LPA). This legal document identifies the people they would prefer to manage their affairs when they are no longer able to. Over 41 million people believe that they do not need an LPA as their loved ones would be automatically able to make decisions on their behalf if they could not.
Would you dispute a will if unhappy with results? We can help. If you’d like to discuss an inheritance issue or feel the effects of this story, reach out to us. It’s in your best interest to get in contact with us at The Inheritance Experts where we can discuss your issue or requirement.