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It’s mine, not the Donkey’s – contentious probate and charitable bequests

07th February 2013

The RSPCA says that income from legacies helps it pay for one of every two animals it saves and its reliance on donations is similar to the experience of many other charities.

A spokesman said, “There have been anecdotal reports of slight rises in the number of challenges to these legacies.

“It is certainly fair to say that the legal processes around these bequests are becoming more complex.”

While it has been noted that contentious probate cases have almost certainly increased since the recession, Wills and Probate Lawyers generally warn relatives who wish to contest a Last Will and Testament that the process is likely to be complex and expensive.

Recent cases have shown that charities are prepared to do all they can to preserve a donation and are unlikely to make an out of court settlement.

Unless a court is satisfied that the testator was of unsound mind when they made the Will or was coerced into a particular bequest, it is unlikely to return a ruling that will be favourable for relatives who feel hard done by when what they feel is rightfully theirs goes to a donkey sanctuary.

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