Warning: As Will & Probate complications arise, half of your estate could ‘disappear.’

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Warning: As Will & Probate complications arise, half of your estate could ‘disappear.’

WILLS AND THE PROBATE SYSTEM CAN BE USED EFFECTIVELY TO MANAGE INHERITANCE TAXES AND ESTATE PLANNING. However, according to newly disclosed data, there has been a “significant increase” in inheritance disputes and Will contests, which might be costly for families.

The estate of someone who has died and is passing on their assets is subject to inheritance tax (IHT). These assets are typically passed down to friends, family, and children, and the costs can be managed through the use of Wills and the probate system, which gives a person (generally a solicitor or other professional) the legal authority to manage the assets involved.

JMW Attorneys, probate solicitors, reported today that there has been a significant increase in inquiries connected to inheritance disputes and Will contests, as well as fewer families leaving their fortune to their children.

Between October 2020 and April 2021, the law firm reported a 111 percent increase in inquiries compared to the preceding six months.

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in unexpected deaths, which “undoubtedly” contributed to intestacy rates (when someone dies without a Will), its experts indicated inheritance conflicts were already on the rise in England and Wales.

According to JMW Solicitors, one in every four persons would now contest a Will if they didn’t believe it was distributed correctly, with a frequent misconception about inheritance law in England and Wales adding to the growth in contentious probate proceedings.

Alison Parry, a partner at JMW and the head of will and trust disputes, explained how these conflicts can cost estates a lot of money even before IHT.

“Let’s pretend you have a £200,000 estate,” she continued.

“When you have two or three people squabbling over a pot of money, and each person has their own lawyer, half of that pot might go in legal bills before you get anything off the ground.”

‘Traditionally, children are the primary beneficiaries when a parent dies — however, we are increasingly encountering clients who do not want to leave their entire estate to children for various reasons,’ said inheritance lawyer Joe Cobb, a partner at JMW Solicitors.

“Some parents want to encourage their children to forge their own path in life, while others prefer.” Brinkwire Summary News

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