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Contentious Probate Work on the Rise?
As we move into the 5th year of economic recession and the outlook continues to look bleak, there appears to have been a significant increase in the number of contentious probate cases.
Figures from the Ministry of Justice indicate that the number of Probate Cases with a contentious element has risen by 178% since 2006.
Why is this? Surely when we are tightening our belts, we would not want to see money spent on long and expensive court battles?
The paradox is that when times are hard, people, especially families, are more inclined to scrap, even over relatively small amounts of money. It is also unfortunately true that, when times are hard, we see an rise in the number of financial abuse cases, with the elderly being the main targets. When money is tight, the unscrupulous may well see an opportunity to get what they think they would inherit now, rather after the relative has died. It is important to keep an eye on those close to you who are advanced in years and make sure there are not any signs of financial abuse, anything that you find worrying, or even something which just does not seem quite right.
A few common signs are:
• Transfer of the victim’s property into the name of another
• New friends
• Long missing relatives turning up
• Irregular withdrawals of cash from the victim’s bank accounts
• New loans or re-mortgages
• Requests for alterations to a will
• Third Party involvement/ control of affairs
• Unexplained absence of personal items
If you have any concerns, questions, or would just like some more information, please give me a call on 220 2185 or email email@example.com