Will Writer's Negligence

Negligence in relation to the drafting or execution of Wills and in relation to advice about Wills can, sometimes, arise. We have been instructed in relation to claims against other solicitors as well as against Will-writing companies.  

Properties and other assets can have substantial values. People who make Wills do so with the specific intention to leave their assets in particular ways. The Intestacy Rules, which apply if there is no Will, very often fail to achieve the same result.

Intended beneficiaries often have substantial claims where the gift to them fails. Unusually, beneficiaries are entitled to claim for their losses even though they were not the client of the solicitor or Will-writer. These losses will reflect the money or assets they should have received. We have successfully pursued claims arising from clauses left out of Wills, from wrongly executed Wills, from incorrect advice about revocation or destruction of Wills, and from failure to understand and advise about tax implications. We can also, from our experience of dealing with other Will and Probate related claims, advise about remedies, such as rectification of a Will (in which case, the claim against the Will-writer may be for the cost of taking those remedial steps).  

The loss caused is usually easily identifiable. As solicitors, we do not generally need expert evidence to be able to advise what should have been done in preparing and executing Wills. Where necessary, our litigators can call upon the considerable expertise of colleagues at Battens who specialise in Wills and Probate.  

Will-writing companies – and solicitors where relevant – do carry insurance and so good claims are likely to be paid without a need for enforcement action.      


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