Home Legal News Millions of UK Adults Prepared to Contest Family Wills at Court, Says...

Millions of UK Adults Prepared to Contest Family Wills at Court, Says Research

12.6 million Brits said they would contest a loved one’s will if they were unhappy with how the estate had been divided, according to research by Direct Line Life Insurance.

The poll looked at responses from across the UK, with those most willing to dispute in Southampton (31%), London (29%) and Norwich (29%).

Whether the division of assets is seen as unfair, inappropriate, unusual, disappointing or even excluding close family members, increasing numbers of wills are being disputed. In 2018, the number of disputed applications for probate grew by 6% to over 8,100.

Those willing to go to court to dispute inheritance would need to register a caveat to block the grant of probate. This costs £20, with other fees such as legal costs potentially being incurred.

The most widely used ground for contesting a will is ‘undue influence’, where the deceased was forced to sign a will or unreasonable pressure was placed upon them. However, according to legal experts, contesting wills on the grounds of undue influence are the least successful petitions as the burden of proof is high, and it falls on the person challenging the will to prove undue influence.

Other grounds include contesting the legality of the will, who applied for the grant of probate and whether the deceased was of sound mind.

Other grounds for contesting include testamentary capacity, where the mental and legal ability of a person to make or alter their will is challenged or clerical errors brought through rectification and construction claims where the drafting of the will or the person drafting it failed to reflect the intentions of the deceased.

No will, no way

While the poll focuses on those who have taken out wills, other figures have shown around half of the UK adult population is without a valid will.

Erroneous assumptions that spouses, children or life partners will automatically benefit from inheritance leave many at risk of their wishes not being carried out on death, particularly for cohabiting couples and blended families.

Lawble is a leading legal resource aimed at supporting people and businesses alike by providing reliable information, legal resources and links to leading and reputable legal service providers.

Must Read

N244 Form (Where to Find & How to Complete!)

12 minute read Last updated: 13th August 2019 The N244 form is an application notice, used to apply for a court order in the...

Claiming Under the Sale of Goods Act (What You Should Do!)

5 minute read Last updated: 12 August 2019 Claiming under the Sale of Goods Act is the route a consumer should take if they...

Faulty Goods under Warranty (Your Consumer Rights!)

Where an item under warranty develops a fault, the path to remedying the situation may be as straightforward as claiming against your warranty but...

Nemo Dat Quod Non Habet

Nemo dat quod non habet, literally means "no one gives what he doesn't have". This is a legal rule, sometimes called the nemo dat...

Sale of Goods Act (Your Consumer Rights!)

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 states that all goods purchased or sold in the UK must be as described, of satisfactory quality and...