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Walking a tightrope: charities' probate litigation

A guide to probate litigation for charities, ?by Naomi O’Higgins and Clare Pooley

24 September 2012

The current economic climate ?has meant that the ability of charities to protect their legacy income has become even more challenging than in the past. The decline in overall legacy income received by charities in the past several years has been coupled with a general rise in contentious probate claims.

Indeed, in July 2012, the Financial Times (‘Inheritance battles double in crisis,’ 13 July 2012) reported that the number of High Court cases in 2011 contesting wills, trusts and probate totalled 663, almost double the number of such claims issued in 2006.

As many cases would have settled before reaching court, these figures suggest that such disputes are become increasingly common. This is at a time when, according to figures compiled by CharitiesDirect.com, legacy income made up about 11 per cent (or over £1bn in 2010) of the total income received by UK charities.

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