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Will Diputes: Challenges to Wills on the Increase

View profile for Paul Hajek
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Disputed WillsThere has been a significant increase in the number of cases coming before the courts where wills are being challenged.

These challenges are traumatic and expensive for all concerned and highlight the greater need for care and attention to be taken in the preparation of wills.

The primary consideration must be to make your will beyond challenge.

Where there is any possibility this will happen, it is advisable to ensure all the procedures have been followed.

In the case of Key v Key the deceased had changed his will shortly after the death of his wife of 65 years . Although the new will would have led to a fairer distribution of the estate between the four children, this was not how Mr Key’s previous wills had dealt with his estate, his two daughters had not been beneficiaries of the previous wills, the estate had always been given to the two farming sons who had been involved with the family farm for a considerable number of years.

The will was successfully challenged by the two sons and the judge ruled that Mr Key did not have the required testamentary capacity to make the new will.

Great significance was place on the fact that the new will was made so soon after the death of Mr Key’s wife which was devastating to him and had caused him to lack the appropriate capacity to change his will.

The case highlights the extreme caution that needs to be taken in the preparation of wills, particularly where a change in the content of the will is likely to lead to family dispute.

The best approach is for all the relevant checks to be made and evidence of capacity to be established in the most appropriate way to the circumstances of the case, even if it may seem inconvenient and lead to further expense.

The expense will be minor in comparison the costs of a court case and the damage done to family harmony

If you are worried about anything in your Will please consult with your Solicitor or contact us, phone Hilary McIlveen on 01454 312125 for a no obligation chat