Advice for avoiding inheritance disputes

How can you avoid claims against your estate?

This can be a difficult task to tackle. There are a variety of things you can do to protect yourself and hopefully avoid inheritance disputes.

1. Understand the Intestacy Rules

Many people don’t even have a Will in place when they die. When there is no Will to go by, an estate is distributed in accordance with what is referred to as ‘Intestacy Rules’. A change in these rules in 2014 led people to believe it would reduce the number of 1975 Act claims brought by spouses in intestate estates. However, this may have led to an increase in claims brought forward by adult children who would now receive a smaller share.

It is important to understand the Intestacy rules in order to understand the potential consequences if a Will is not put in place.

2. Consider leaving something small

If you are considering excluding a close family member from your Will, but have concerns about their reaction, it may be worth leaving a small gift instead. This might be accompanied by what is known as a ‘no contest’ clause. Such clauses are designed to discourage relatives from contesting your will.

3. Allocate specific gifts or items

It is quite common for people to leave specific gifts to people in their Will. This may be that you want to leave your home to one child, with the rest of your estate to another. It could seem like a good idea at the time, however the value of assets may change over time. If you have particular reasons for wanting to leave specific assets to certain people then you should take careful advice on how best to do so.

 

Do you need helping writing a Will?

Get in touch with Middletons Solicitors where our expert Wills & Probate team will be happy to help.