Over 50% increase in DIY Wills in the High Court
There has been an increase of inheritance disputes heard in the High Court by over 50%!
This substantial increase is attributable to the rise in popularity of DIY Wills which are often riddled with errors and omissions. Family situations are now much more complex and there has been an increase in family members administering deceased estates, despite conflicts of interests, no experience in the laws of succession and little to no knowledge of the application of inheritance tax. It is very easy to make a small error in drafting a will which has far reaching consequences and completely disinherits loved ones forcing them to seek redress through the courts. As is well reported, an average inheritance act claim can easily escalate to over £100,000 in legal fees and in some cases, if a claimant is unsuccessful, having to pay the costs of the other side too.
In our own recent cases at MWB we have been experiencing a growing problem with wills and trusts drafted by unregulated will writers (with very little formal training) who do not have professional indemnity insurance and when an issue later comes to light have long since ceased to trade. The wordings of the trusts have been so ambiguous that they have had to be referred to specialist Barristers to assist with their interpretation, which again is very expensive for the clients.
What can we learn from this?
In the words of the Law Society president Christina Blacklaws “with the range of different estates and circumstances that exist, it is vitally important people consult a professional when writing their will. Probate law is complex and DIY wills can easily contain mistakes which render them illegitimate or difficult to administer.”
At MWB our professional drafted and executed wills start at £205 plus VAT for an individual and £310 plus VAT for a couple. We go over and above the professional standard of checking the documents as they are never sent to clients before they have been checked by at least two senior legal advisers. We believe you cannot write a good will without expert knowledge of the effect of inheritance tax and estate administration and our Legal Advisers are well qualified and have a great deal of experience of dealing with these matters.
Please contact our team on: 01273 477071