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DIY Wills often lead to Inheritance and Will Disputes

View profile for Laura Pracy
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Taking the advice of a solicitor when preparing your Will can help prevent a dispute arising between your family after your death.  Drafting a Will with your solicitor will ensure that your wishes are recorded in the correct way.

Case Law

In a recent High Court case, an elderly gentleman didn’t listen to the advice of his solicitor to make a professionally drafted will and consequently an acrimonious High Court dispute arose after his death.

One daughter claimed she had located a photocopy of her father’s DIY Will, the original of which was never found. The Will purported to leave this daughter his home, completely disregarding her brother and sister.  Sadly, the Court found that one of his daughters forged her father’s Will thinking she would inherit everything he owned.  On submitting the Will to probate the siblings argued that this Will had been totally made up.  Further evidence was heard at the trial from the father’s solicitor who described him as a lovely, but lonely old man, whom he had advised on numerous occasions and had repeatedly suggested a professionally drafted Will but the client had never heeded the advice.

It was said that the circumstances in which the Will was made were highly suspicious and the language used was not that typically used in such a document suggesting that the daughter had written the Will herself.

The Court was satisfied that this was a forged document meaning that the gentleman had in effect died intestate (without a valid will) and that his estate would be distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules and divided equally amongst his three children.

Inheritance and Will Dispute Solicitor Advice

“I see many cases similar to this where people have not prepared a Will, thinking that their estate will automatically go to their children.  It is so important to discuss your plans  with a solicitor and to get your wishes recorded into a Will as it could save a lot of heartache for your family in the future,” says Laura Pracy, Head of Inheritance and Will Disputes.

If you have any questions with regards to contesting a Will that you believe might be forged or any further help on Inheritance and Will Disputes  contact Laura Pracy on 0161 785 3500 or send an email to contentiousprobate@pearsonlegal.co.uk

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.