Sadly it came as no surprise to me when I read that the number of inheritance disputes heard in the High Court has rocketed by 62 per cent in the last two years.
In 2018 there were 368 disputes about probate, up from 282 in 2017 and 227 the year before.
You don’t have to look much further than Google to see what the root of the problem might be.
A quick internet search reveals numerous low-cost online will-builders and cheap DIY will kits.
When you combine this trend with the tendency of families to try to deal with the estates of loved ones themselves, rather than engaging an expert, it is often the case that an estate becomes vulnerable to claims.
The disappointing thing is that people in these circumstances are trying to do the right thing. They have recognised the need to have a will but, in an attempt to save money, have been tempted by cheap DIY options.
Drafting a will needs to take a number of drafting skills into account to make sure the estate is properly disposed of and to secure the correct process to sign the will.
A professional adviser will keep records about assessing mental capacity and also remove doubt about whether there are any external influences affecting the decision to make certain gifts.
A DIY will is an extremely risky strategy, as it significantly increases the chance of costly disputes at a later date.
The fact is modern families are complex, especially when people have been married more than once or perhaps have children from previous relationships.
This makes it all the more critical that expert advice is sought when deciding how your estate should be distributed when you pass away.
I would actually go a step further and strongly advise people to get advice from a solicitor or legal executive who is registered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and who is a qualified member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
This might cost more, but it is a genuine investment that provides complete peace of mind and protection when you and your family need it most.