Dispute & Money Claims and Wills Probate & Power of Attorney
Dealing With Will and Inheritance Disputes
16 JUL 2019
When a loved one or friend passes away, this can be a very stressful and emotional time. Dealing with the wishes of the person who has passed away will be a priority and where there may be uncertainty or disputes as what those wishes were this can add to an already difficult time.
Our specialist Lawyer Jenny Pearson has prepared a list of issues that may be need to be considered in these circumstances :
Prevention is always the best course of action – Do make a Will and consider making a Statement of Wishes
No matter how difficult it may be to face the issue of our own mortality it is always better to have taken the step to record your wishes in a will rather than not. In the majority of cases, when a Will has been made, the administration of the estate will be completed with no problems.
However, if for any reason you do not wish to make provision for a gift in your Will for a particular family member, for example due to falling out, you should always consider asking your solicitor to put a statement with your Will to explain why you have made this decision. This evidence that you have considered another person and made a decision about any gift you may have made can help resolve disputes after death.
Pick the right people to look after your estate.
Give careful consideration to who you wish to appoint as executors to deal with the administration of your estate. Whilst this may seem insignificant, it is very important to bear in mind issues such as whether the people you are considering appointing are also beneficiaries under your Will, and whether they may have any reason to fall out with any of the beneficiaries. If this is the case, you may want to consider appointing alternative executors. Appointing level minded independent executors can help resolve any disputes that may arise much quicker and can in fact avoid some disputes.
Nipping a dispute in the bud – Consider Mediation/Settlement Negotiations as a priority
If a dispute arises, it is very important to try and nip this in the bud as soon as possible, not least because the legal costs in bringing/making a claim against an estate can escalate very quickly. You should seek legal advice and assistance as soon as possible. Solicitors who are experienced in dealing with these types of matters can help to address the validity of any potential dispute and guide you as to what steps may need to be taken to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible.
Keeping a clear head.
Losing someone close can have significant emotional effects. This is likely to be magnified where any disputes arise. It is very important that you seek the support of family and friends whilst dealing with this difficult time. As the issues that are involved in any dispute arising out of someone’s estate are likely to be highly emotive it can be difficult to keep a clear head and this can result in unnecessary delays and costs being incurred. It is important when seeking legal advice in respect of any dispute that you choose solicitors who are experienced in dealing with disputes of this nature and who place great weight in understanding the issues and helping you to reach a resolution as quickly as possible with the minimum emotional impact if at all possible.