A common problem is that the evil relative/partner/carer has taken out insurance during the deceased’s lifetime.

Firstly, we find they have engineered a Will under which they get everything. There is often a clause in the Will explaining that you get nothing because you have been given lots of money already, you are a criminal and a drug-dealing child molester etc. (all lies but very hurtful).

Second, they have engineered a transfer of major assets to themselves during the deceased’s lifetime. This usually involves transfers of land.

In these situations, your challenge to the will is a three-step process.

First step is to obtain a Grant of Probate. This can involve court proceedings.

Second step is to use that Grant to obtain evidence. Many a time, the medical records will establish that the deceased was mentally incapable of making a will/signing a transfer of land.

Third step is to bring (fresh) legal proceedings to set aside the will and the property transfers.

By this stage (or earlier), the evil relative/partner/carer sees the writing on the wall and settlement discussions magically break out.

One of the Constable Connor cases (which we keep talking about amongst ourselves) involved a client whose brother engineered the will and the transfer of land. In the end, our client was awarded about half the estate. The evil brother got the other half, but he had to pay his own lawyers, which did not leave him with much money left over.

What goes around, they say, comes around. With wills litigation, it comes back to bite you in the bank.

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