There have been many high profile probate cases covered in the media too, including Sir Jimmy Saville's alleged illegitimate daughter contesting his £7.3m estate, which he left mostly to charity in his will.
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The recession has been blamed by many for the rise in probate disputes. When the credit crunch hit the UK in 2008, the average prices of property plummeted and the value of many estates were drastically reduced. This meant that the amount of money to be inherited by beneficiaries considerably dropped, leaving many people shocked at how much, or how little, they would receive from a will. It is also thought that family members not left any of an estate in a will are more likely to contest or raise a probate dispute, due to financial struggles that have been brought upon them by the recession.
Since the recession has affected the income of many families and households, the credit crunch may have contributed to fewer couples tying the knot. In 2009, The Telegraph reported that the 'break-up of the nuclear family' was to blame for the rise in probate disputes. Pointing the finger at cohabiting, un-married couples, whose partners contest the will when a family member dies, and people who no longer live with their partners who raise a probate dispute, claiming that they were 'maintained by the deceased before death'.
Since the recession has put a strain on peoples' pockets, many people are now also opting to go it alone when applying for a probate, in order to save money. But in cases where there is likely to be a probate dispute, or for someone to contest the will, a probate is best handled by a legal professional. Probate services don't have to cost an arm and a leg. IWC ltd offers a low cost, fixed fee service and will deal with a probate on your behalf. For more information about probate fees visit http://www.iwc-