The number of people challenging Wills and testaments in the UK High Court hit a record high last year with 192 cases raised by people who claimed they were entitled to a share or larger portion of a deceased’s estate. This was up from 188 in 2019 and a 50% increase from 128 claims in 2018.
It is thought that Covid-19 was most likely a significant factor in this increase because many people suffered financial losses during the lockdown periods, while several estates saw their value increase thanks to the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday.
It is believed that people may be more motivated to seek what they believe is a “fair share” of their inheritance, and this could be due to the financial difficulties they are facing.
Estate administration can take a vast amount of time, and the social distancing measures that were in place during the lockdowns will have disrupted succession planning for many, which could lead to a higher number of disputes in the future.
For instance, Wills that were signed and witnessed over video may be easier to challenge in court. Families can find, to their dismay, that meticulous succession planning can be overturned if a valid inheritance claim has been overlooked or ignored.
At Tyto Law we will discuss your current circumstances with you and explain all available options that you have. Please contact Ollie and the team at Tyto Law on 01724 642 842 or by email on [email protected].