Legacy Litigation: Contested Wills and Probate Disputes Rising

Lee Dawkins, a solicitor specialising in disputed wills, on why press reports of a legacy litigation boom are not exaggerated

Legacy litigation has never been more popular. The Independent newspaper has recently reported a 700% increase over the last 5 years in the number of cases in the High Court in London involving a legal challenge to the provisions of a Will.

The newspaper speculates that the recession is a major factor in the rise of cases, with beneficiaries who are suffering financial hardship being desperate to inherit.

Increasingly more complex family structures is another factor. Remarriages continue on an upward trend and step-families are common place. This is a breeding ground for family disputes.

Lee Dawkins, a contentious probate solicitor, says that these statistics mirror his own firm’s experience:

“The legacy litigation boom that has been reported in the press is real. In the last few years we have witnessed a steady growth in the number of contested probate cases we deal with.

People are much more likely to challenge a Will now than they were in the past. We have also seen a marked rise in the number of Inheritance Act claims being made.”

These increased volumes of legacy litigation work support the statistics reported in the press. They can be partly explained by social and economic factors such as the diversification of family structures and the economy, but our own success in this area has also played a part. We are now one of the country’s leading contentious probate dispute firms. Our free helpline receives multiple calls every day from people seeking legal advice on challenging a Will or bringing an Inheritance claim.

We operate a free Legacy Litigation Helpline, offering a free initial case assessment. Call us on 0808 139 1606 or email Lee Dawkins direct at [email protected]

Legacy Litigation: Contested Wills and Probate Disputes Rising