Wills Case Study No. 1

Provoked a claim

A surviving spouse who had 12 children, 4 of whom had predeceased her left her estate to 3 children. The estate was not large but invariably provoked a claim by a few of the remaining children non-beneficiaries as to a share of the estate. Action was commenced by a firm of lawyers who charge a fee only if successful and 2 of the children who did not receive anything under the Will made a claim which was settled at mediation with the estate having to pay the applicants’ legal fees and an amount to the two claimants which effectively depleted almost half of the estate. Again, great care needs to be taken to not only advise possible claimants when making a Will but to be more positive as to making some provisions in the Will which can go a long way towards avoiding this type of litigation.