Why are inheritance disputes on the rise?


Pinney Talfourd’s Contested Probate Solicitor, Kerry Hull explains that the rise in inheritance disputes is due to a number of factors. 

Inheritance disputes were once considered the preserve of the super-wealthy or famous but in recent years the number of children disputing their parent’s estate in the High Court has risen by 11% to 116 in 2015 from 104 the previous year according to The Times.

Kerry Hull, contested wills and probate solicitor at Pinney Talfourd in Essex explains that the rise in inheritance disputes is due to a number of factors.

The use of home-made wills is a major contributor, but the rise in these types of disputes also reflects the changing nature of our society’, says Kerry.

Higher rates of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation, combined with an increase in the value of estates, longer life expectancy and a greater awareness of rights, means that relatives are less willing to do nothing when their inheritance is taken from them.

An inheritance dispute can take any number of forms, from concerns that a will has been incorrectly made or forged, to a dependant believing that they have been unfairly left out or not received what they were entitled to.

Disputes can also arise over the choice and conduct of executors and trustees who are responsible for overseeing the probate process, paying inheritance tax and distributing gifts according to the terms of the will.

Anyone with concerns about a will, or the probate process, should act quickly and take legal advice as soon as possible as there are strict time limits to make a claim.

We can help you with:

  • challenging the validity of a will
  • disputes between executors and beneficiaries
  • removal of executors
  • claims arising from the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • disputes relating to the ownership of property



If you are concerned about the validity of a will, or involved in an inheritance dispute, contact Kerry Hull, an experienced contested wills and probate solicitor or If you would like more information on any contentious issues wih regard to probate, wills and estate administration please contact our Contentious Probate Department on 01708 229444. 
This article was written by Kerry Hull, Senior Associate at Pinney Talfourd Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as at October 2016.


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