Professional negligence in wills and trusts
A professional who prepared a will or trust document could have made a mistake. This may have been in relation to the drafting of a will or trust deed. It could be relating to advice received about a probate application including advice about tax.
For a professional negligence claim you will need to show that:
- The professional owed you a duty of care
- That they breached that duty
- That a loss was suffered as a result of that breach
It has been accepted by the courts that a professional drafting a will has a duty of care to both their client and to the beneficiaries of the will.
Claims of professional negligence in wills have arisen because the will drafter took too long to prepare the will (meaning the deceased passed away before it was made), when there had not been adequate instructions given on how to execute (sign) the will and a failure to carry out the deceased’s instructions for their will.
In respect of trusts then the professional drafting the trust deed may have failed to provide for certain powers to the trustees, or recorded incorrectly the proportions in which trust property was to be held.
We have expertise within our Contentious Probate, Dispute Resolution and Wills and Probate teams that can be combined to provide cost effective advice in this specialist area. We can assist with gathering the evidence, assessing the merits and value of the claim and advising on the likelihood of success.