Why Are Inheritance Disputes on the Increase, and What is the Cause of all these Claims?

There is no doubt that these claims are increasing, but why?

One factor that has been suggested is the change in modern family – the increase in divorces, re-marriages and co-habitation. There is also the fact that families are living further apart leading to more complicated family structures, so there is more room for argument.

There has been a suggestion that the overall increase in house prices over the last 20 to thirty years, has meant that society has become wealthier, owing to the continued increase in house prices, which from time to time will fluctuate. However, the general principle is that the house prices have increased, and therefore there is more value to fight over.

Not just for probate litigation, but people have become more aware of their legal rights, and their ability to bring claims if there is something amiss, or their ability to raise this with legal representatives. This may have something to do with the popular social media culture, which means there is more of an incentive and an appetite to pursue claims.

Various illnesses relating to elderly people have certainly increased the likely hood of disputes. The increase in dementia rates, meaning that more people are making wills when they may not be in the best of health, now make those wills susceptible to challenge.

People now consider that they should be included in a will, and if they feel they have been cut out of a will, or not left reasonable financial provision, or were promised something by the deceased which has not materialised and can bring certain evidence, this has resulted in an increase of the likelihood of a challenge.