Article Archive

focusResearch by Direct Line(see 1) suggests that over 12.6 million people (about 24%) would contest a will if they were unhappy with it – and incidences of wills being contested are growing in number.

But we can take steps to reduce the risk of that happening to our own will. A first step that may be helpful is to consider the most common grounds for contesting a will. According to the research they are:

1. Undue influence
2. Lack of knowledge and approval
3. Fraudulent Wills and forged Wills
4. Lack of valid execution
5. Testamentary capacity
6. Rectification and construction claims
7. Provision for family and dependants

Then, continuing with the research results, consider how successful might those grounds be – the most successful grounds for contesting a will are:

1. Lack of knowledge and approval
2. Testamentary capacity
3. Rectification and construction claims
4. Provision for family and dependants
5. Lack of valid execution
6. Fraudulent Wills and forged Wills
7. Undue influence

We have the right to decide how we want our assets to be distributed. We can include seemingly unusual clauses and perhaps exclude family members. But if you have any concerns about your will being contested, here are some suggestions.

• Seek specialist legal advice – and we should do so before potentially going ga-ga and questions arise about our mental capacity.

• Consider writing a Letter of Wishes spelling out the reasons for making the will and also the reasons for including any clauses that might be grounds for the will being contested.

• Discuss with family members and potential beneficiaries how and why you wish to distribute your assets in the way set out in the will in order to try and avoid the surprise and sometimes the hurt that could arise.

(1) The Direct Line article can be found at

NB The notes on the previous page are necessarily brief and only cover some of the main points.

If you think any of the above may apply to you, we recommend that you take timely advice from an appropriate legal adviser.

Remember, we are here to help so please do not hesitate to contact us regarding your financial planning situation – Reviews are part of our added-value services for our clients.

Barry Fleming & Partners has grown from a tax advisory background into a broader business that encompasses investment management. Both things matter for wealth management, retention and creation. That expertise makes the company strikingly different from others.

This capability allows Barry Fleming and Partners to use its strength in tax advice to take a 360-degree-view of a financial situation to give much broader, more comprehensive advice.

We bring together up to the minute tax, estate, investment and retirement planning advice to create individual, ‘joined up’ financial strategies. This allows our clients to understand and have confidence in how they can best control, retain, and build their assets and income to achieve their objectives with least risk.

A high level of service is key to our long-term client relationships. We work collaboratively. That means our clients can benefit at all times from having ready access to our team of financial planners.

Barry Fleming & Partners are an independent financial advisor specialising in ISA’s, Pensions, Tax, Trusts, Estate Planning, Inheritance Tax Planning (IHT) and other Financial Planning areas. Please don’t hesitate to call on 01488 608 686 and ask to talk to one of our financial advisors. Alternatively use the contact form on our home page.