Challenging times: what happens when family is cut out of the will?

High profile inheritance disputes follow celebrities and the super-rich as surely as night follows day, but such challenges are becoming increasingly common, whatever the values involved. Some of the names to have made headlines include the artist Salvador Dali, whose body was exhumed last year for a DNA test after a woman claimed to be his daughter and entitled to a share of his $1bn estate. Former South African President Nelson Mandela left the bulk of his estate to his current wife, but his late ex-wife Winnie challenged the will,…

Disputing a Will can be a very costly exercise

Record numbers of inheritance disputes are going through the courts as modern family structures and rising house prices push more families to contest unfavourable outcomes.  One recent case has seen a family lose out after legal action involved two brothers who have run up fees of more than their entire inheritance by disputing a stepmother's share of their father’s estate. The trend towards increased inheritance disputes has been attributed to a number of factors.  Increasing numbers of so-called ‘blended’ families where divorced parents re-marry is one such factor, with original family members…

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