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Deaths of celebrities leave family Probate battles

The last few years have seen a shocking number of high profile celebrity deaths and with them, there seem to be no shortage of subsequent probate disputes.

It has been widely reported in the media that Lynda Bellingham’s sons are involved in a bitter battle with her husband Michael Pattemore concerning the contents of their mother’s last Will and the provision made for them in her estate. The brothers recently appeared on ‘This Morning’ to discuss their mother’s Will and the fact that no provision had been made for them, with everything being left to Mr Pattemore. Reference has been made to the fact that their mother was a very trusting person and that her Will was made shortly after being told she had a 50/50 chance of survival and whilst she was heavily medicated.

Her sons, Michael and Robbie Peluso, have suggested that they are not necessarily pursuing a case. However, such facts inevitably call into question whether the Will’s validity can be challenged on the grounds that Lynda did not have the mental capacity to make the Will at the time or possibly that she was under another’s influence when the Will was made.

Across the pond, the media reports that Prince’s estate is facing a potential claim from an alleged ‘lovechild’ after some of his siblings recently appeared in Court to say that he did not leave a Will and to request  authority to deal with his estate.

These issues are not restricted to the celebrity world and many families face similar legal issues. Napthens is one of only a few firms in the North West with specialist expertise in inheritance and Will disputes. Whether it’s you or another party challenging the Will or the distribution of the estate, you need advice and support from legal advisers with real experience in this often complex area of law.

Nicola Turner - Litigation solicitor at Napthens Solicitors