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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
LegalClough & Willis predicting further sharp upturn in demand for its Contentious...

Clough & Willis predicting further sharp upturn in demand for its Contentious Probate services

Bury and Bolton law firm Clough & Willis is predicting that as the pandemic continues to wane demand for its Contentious Probate services will further increase to new record levels. The news comes after the firm last reported a rise of about 25% in new enquiries in September 2020 as the UK battled with the effects and ongoing uncertainties of COVID-19.

Back then, the main reasons for the soaring demand were down to Wills being rushed, badly drafted by inexperienced solicitors or non-legally binding documents which the deceased believed constituted as an official Will. Other grounds for litigation included undue influence, lack of knowledge and approval, and a belief that Wills were fraudulent or forged.

These are still major issues. However, other reasons are now also coming more into play including; family set ups being more diverse; higher life expectancies which can lead to concerns amongst potential benefactors that testators may have been suffering from an illness meaning that they did not have the required mental capacity to make their Will; rising estate values due to the soaring property prices we have seen over the past couple of years; as well as people dying suddenly or unexpectedly who did not have an up to date Will due to not being able to access the right legal advice during the height of pandemic.

A contentious probate or disputed Will is a dispute involving inheritance or the validity of a Will. They usually stem from someone feeling a Will didn’t leave them what they felt they deserved or were promised, or they may have concerns regarding the way in which a Will was made.

Grahame Henry – senior associate and dispute resolution solicitor – said: “The ongoing need for our services in this area remains high. The immediate and shocking effects of COVID are now thankfully dissipating but it is leaving a trail of problems in its wake that are having a real impact on peoples’ lives. One of which are disputed Wills. They can tear families apart and cause real distress, but our message remains the same in that we would implore that clients do their due diligence to ensure a Will is legally valid and outlines their true wishes.”

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