Dangerous, Invincible and Badabut at least the King of Pop made aWill though it hasn’t stopped mother Katherine Jackson, allegedly egged on by father Joe (totally ignored in the Will ), from mounting a legal challenge and contesting a will that leaves everything to The Michael Jackson Family Trust.
She is seeking to wrest control of the USD500 million estate from the executors appointed by the Will, notwithstanding a ‘no contest’ clause in the Will that disinherits any beneficiary who challenges its validity or its terms.
It will no doubt be a thriller and there will be blood on the dance floor at the end of it all. Ho, Ho.
In the UK the number of people contesting a Will is rising steeply.
In the 2 years up to 2009, the number of cases coming before the UK Courts has apparently risen threefold.The ‘grey figure’ of unrecorded will contests in the UK is even greater.
So what is fuelling this undeniable trend?
One obvious cause is the number of people relying on cheap and inadequate ‘DIY wills’. This is a growing problem. People are trying to save money by buying ‘wills kits’ from stationers and putting together a document themselves in the hope that it is a valid will.
The problem is that the whole subject to writing a valid will is fraught with legal technicalities. It is not just the format of the will that is important but also the manner in which it is signed and witnessed and who may witness the will. Failure to observe strictly any one of a whole number of these technicalities can mean that the will is legally unenforceable and not worth the paper it is written on.