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Number of Will disputes look set to increase further

From 1 October 2014 the rules changed surrounding who is able to contest the will of someone who has died.

The main change could see an increase in the number of children who contest Wills.   Until now, children could only contest the Will if they were the deceased’s child or they had been treated by the deceased as a child as part of a marriage between the deceased and one of their parents.

The new laws now cover children who have been part of any family unit, even if the unit just consists of the deceased and the child.

Other changes will make it easier for other family dependents to contest the Will as they will only have to show the dependency irrespective of what they did for the deceased in return.

There are various other minor changes which include an extension to the courts power to vary Will trusts, a simpler process for making a claim against joint property which is not included in the Will, claims can now begin before any grant of representation, and the court has more flexibility on the date when joint interests are valued.

Mike Spencer, director and contentious probate lawyer at Actons said: “Although these changes may seem relatively straight-forward, they are part of a particularly complex area of the law which demands specialist, timely advice.

“The number of people contesting Wills is rising dramatically as a result of the changing economic landscape and complex family structures. This relaxation of the law will see that number increase even further”.

For a free, no-obligation discussion about your personal circumstances, please contact Mike Spencer on 0115 8 448 342 or email [email protected]

Posted on October 8, 2014

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