Negligently Drafted Wills

 

We are often asked if a beneficiary is able to sue a solicitor or lawyer for a negligently drafted will.

The answer to this qustion is that 'disappointed beneficiaries' who have lost out as a result of a will being badly prepared are now able to claim against the solicitor who drafted it.

We have a team specialising in pursuing claims for professional negligence, including claims against solicitors for negligently drafted wills.

It is important to remember that a solicitor (or any non-qualified will writer for that matter) owes a duty of care not just to the person making the will, but to potential beneficiaries under the will too.

The extension of this duty of care to intended beneficiaries has been established in a series of cases which include:

  • Ross V Caunters 1979
  • White V Jones 1995
  • Carr-Glynn V Frearsons 1998

Common causes of solicitors negligence claims are :

  • Failure to ensure that a will is validly signed and witnessed.
  • Failure to ensure that a will is prepared in a timely fashion before the will-maker dies.
  • Failure to check a will for clerical drafting errors that could invalidate part or all of the will.
  • The solicitor (or other professional) also has a duty to administer the estate properly and in accordance with the law. If he or she fails to do so then the executors are entitled to bring a professional negligence claim for financial loss suffered as a result of the solicitor’s negligence.

We are able to deal with professional negligence and solicitor’s negligence cases involving negligently drafted wills and negligently administered estates under our No Win – No Fee case funding scheme.