As you get older, you may start thinking more and more about making a will in the event of your death. For some, it is an uncomfortable proposition but needs to be considered to provide peace of mind both to you and your loved ones. In some circumstances, those you hold dear, may become involved in inheritance and probate disputes concerning your estate. To try and avoid such disagreements after your death, it is important to consult a solicitor or at the very least make a will having acquired a ready-made pack from a store such as W.H Smith, who sell the same at a lower cost than the fee charged by a solicitor for drafting your will.
If your wishes are not at all complicated, the beneficiaries are limited, and the assets are not huge, then this would be a sensible option that you could consider.
However, if things are more complex it is always wise to see a solicitor’s advice and input in the drafting of your will.
If disputes do arise when the estate holder is deceased, then Van Eaton Solicitors in Streatham Hill can assist by firstly advising upon whether such a dispute has merit and if so, gathering all the necessary evidence to make the basis of your claim as strong as possible. Our experienced solicitors can help you many areas regarding potential claims or defending such a claim against you, whether as an executor or a beneficiary of an estate.
Such disputes can take an emotional toll on a family which is why a will clearly drafted, setting out the intentions and wishes of the deceased is so important.
Ensure that Your Will is Completely Valid
A common probate dispute that can occur between your loved ones is the belief that the will is invalid. Common arguments include that the deceased was under undue influence when creating the will, that it was forged or that they lacked the appropriate mental capacity. The burden of proof falls upon the person making the claim, and some claims can be harder to prove than others. You can read more in our previous article here.
To ensure that your will is valid , you can have a report prepared by a health professional proving that you are of sound mind whilst making your will. This is recommended if you have been diagnosed with a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. You should also make sure that you have trusted witnesses present , to protect your wishes. A will is exactly that.
Discuss your Intentions with your Loved Ones
When making your will, you should make your intentions clear with your family members and loved ones. Keeping them informed about how you intend to distribute your assets, as well letting your chosen individuals know that they are beneficiaries and executors is incredibly important in trying to avoid disputes. You should also let executors know exactly where your will is located, keep your current will up to date and destroy any past ones.
Make Yourself Aware of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
The Inheritance Act 1975 is an important document that enables relevant individuals to claim financial provisions if they have been omitted from a will. If someone can claim that they were financially dependent on the deceased before their death, such as their spouse or child, they may be able to bring claims under the Inheritance Act.
By making yourself aware of the claims that can be filed, you can try and prevent individuals from claiming some of your assets if they are not beneficiaries. You should seek advice from a lawyer to make your intentions clear. Our solicitors in Streatham can help you settle any inheritance disputes by implementing effective dispute resolution, as we always aim to keep you claim out of court wherever possible.
To find out more, you can book a free consultation by calling 0208 769 6739. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form.