Wills and Probate

Probate and wills are two of the most emotive areas of law. Dealing with the division of wealth, the dynamics of the family can combine with emotion, misunderstanding and legal complexities to create a wide variety of challenging situations and competing interests. Mediations carried out by our mediators under this heading during 2013, represented 40% of the total mediations carried out.

The view that the costs of any claim will “come out of the Estate” is often not fully considered. Parties must not overlook the fact that there will be a finite value within the Estate and if that is exhausted through litigation the parties themselves will have to foot the balance of the bill – AND if the dispute goes to Court  that can be very large. For example a recent case which lasted for 5 days, the Judge  and the parties having the benefit of 2 QC’s and 2 Junior Counsel, cost the Estate (the Parties) circa £1,000,000.00 jointly – the Claim – valued at less than £80,000.00! No-one received any benefit and proportionality went out of the window.