Emotion and Litigation are the Worst Bedfellows - Get Professional Advice!

One of the primary reasons why you should always employ a specialist solicitor to represent you in litigation is the need to put emotion to one side. In one case where that sadly did not happen, two sons squandered their entire £125,000 inheritance in pursuing a hopeless challenge to their father’s will.

After a number of special bequests, the father had left £125,000 of the remainder of his estate to his second wife and the same amount to be split equally between his sons from a previous marriage. He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for some years and the sons argued that he lacked the required capacity to make a valid will. They claimed that an earlier document, by which he had divided his estate equally between them and their stepmother, was his last true will.

In dismissing the sons’ challenge, a judge found that their conduct of the litigation had been wholly unreasonable and that their stepmother should never have been put to the trouble of defending their claim. Their case had been driven by personal issues, in particular their refusal to accept that their father and stepmother were a devoted couple and the extent to which she had cared for him during his illness. In the circumstances, the sons were ordered to pay the legal costs of the case, estimated at £200,000.