Why are inheritance disputes on the rise?

13th December 2023

The cases of family fallouts over inheritance and succession have been increasing over the last 10 years, with many high-profile cases involving High Net Worth individuals and/or celebrities being frequently reported by the media.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the surge in these cases continues despite the expense of bringing claims against estates. Figures released by the Ministry of Justice over the years have shown a year-on-year increase in the number of cases that have actually reached a trial or final contested hearing and yet these figures do not take into the cases that settle before trial.

“In my own experience, around 80% of cases settle before trial” explains Nazia. This just highlights the extent of disputes which arise due to issues which many families, unfortunately, encounter after the death of a family member.

“It is paramount that we as a firm are able to support clients through such disputes with not only expert legal advice in what is undoubtedly a complex and niche area of practice but also to provide reassurance which the clients require during these difficult times”.

There are many reasons for the substantial rise in inheritance and succession disputes, including the rise in more complex family structures and blended families, the increase in estate values and the frequent media reporting of high-profile cases which raise awareness of the types of claims that individuals are able to bring against estates.

In particular, we have seen an increase in claims for financial provision from estates by spouses, co-habitees and children of the deceased person where these individuals have either been excluded from inheriting at all or where insufficient provision has been left for them. Such claims can be brought by a limited category of individuals under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 and are often seen as an indirect means to challenge an otherwise valid will or the provisions under the Intestacy Rules.

Disputes relating to inheritance and succession can make what is undoubtedly an already challenging time for grieving families, even more difficult. Such disputes can be very complex and costly, meaning that it is important to seek advice from specialist lawyers as early as possible.

Nazia specialises in contentious trusts and probate advice and represents clients involved in all types of disputes relating to inheritance, probate and wills.

To find out how we can help you, contact Nazia Nawaz on  01484915010.


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