DIY Wills blamed for High Court disputes20-Aug-2019

By Gillian Knowles, Head of Wills, Trusts & Estates

The number of inheritance disputes heard in the High Court increased by over 60% in 2018 and it is claimed the rise is largely caused by DIY Wills.

DIY Wills are a fertile ground for disputes and challenges. Whilst a testator may think they are saving themselves a few hundred pounds they are potentially costing their loved ones many thousands.

Probate law is complex and DIY Wills can easily contain mistakes which render them void or ambiguous. Many are not signed or witnessed properly, the Will may be badly worded or fail to deal with all the assets.

The complexity of modern family structures and the growing value of property are also important drivers for a disgruntled family member. If a specialist Solicitor has not been involved in the preparation of the Will, then it is difficult to prove there is any independent evidence that the Will represents the testator’s true wishes or that they had the relevant mental capacity to make the Will. All of this encourages costly and lengthy litigation at an already emotionally difficult time.

Law Society president Christina Blacklaws recently commented: "With the range of different estates and circumstances that exist, it is vitally important people consult a professional when writing their Will".

The Wills, Trusts & Estates team at Cullimore Dutton are specialists in Will writing and are members of STEP (The Society of Trusts & Estates Practitioners). For more advice about making a Will please contact a member of the Wills, Trusts & Estates Department at Cullimore Dutton Solicitors on 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.