Duties of wills and probate lawyers
The responsibilities of lawyers who specialise in wills, trusts and estate planning depend to a large extent on what a client’s instructions are. They are most commonly asked to:
- Draft a will so that a client’s property and money (estate) is distributed to beneficiaries (usually family and friends) in accordance with the client’s wishes
- Advise on ways of reducing inheritance tax (estate financial planning)
- Complete and register powers of attorney so that, if the client becomes mentally incapable of responsibly managing his or her affairs (perhaps because of a serious illness), his or her nominated attorney takes control, avoiding the legal costs, delay and stress of having to apply for a court order
- After death, whether there is a will or not, identify all assets, pay off any liabilities and distribute the balance (residue) promptly and without delay.
Common mistakes – will drafting or probate negligence
- Before drafting a will, failing to check that the client is sound in mind (has testamentary capacity) and, if there is some doubt, failing to obtain expert medical evidence
- Drafting errors in a will
- Failing to ensure that the will is signed (executed) correctly by the client and witnesses
- Delay in drafting a will or, after death, distributing the estate
- After death, wrongly calculating the deceased’s estate’s liabilities, particularly the amount of inheritance tax to be paid
If you have lost out as a result of will drafting or probate negligence, and think you may have a negligence claim, call us now on 0330 050 5254 for a free, no obligation discussion with a qualified professional who specialises in claims against solicitors, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We offer a full range of funding options, including conditional fee agreements (also known as ‘no win, no fee’ and ’no win, low fee’), fixed fees, legal expenses insurance, damages based agreements, as well as the standard hourly rate retainer.