CTAs etc. should not draft wills

Unless they want potentially nasty contentious probate litigation cost consequences visited on them

Didn't find your answer?

See paras 91 & 92 here: https://caselaw.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ewhc/ch/2024/979

And: https://caselaw.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ewhc/ch/2024/321

Possibly this only applies to CTAs working unsupervised (or not properly supervised at least) in law firms (as in this case), but I wouldn't bank on that.

I bet the costs are at least an order of magnitude more than what was charged in fees for drafting the will.

Replies (17)

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Lone Wolf
By Lone_Wolf
22nd May 2024 13:05

No they should not.

Next you'll be telling me that CA's shouldn't be pulling together legal paperwork after Googling a template (and no additional oversight)...

Sadly something I've seen on a few occasions.

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
22nd May 2024 13:28

Strictly it was the firm of solicitors drafting the will, the issue here more seems that a qualified solicitor maybe did not review/sign off the will created by the firm's staff member re the capacity issue.

Lots of firms, lawyers, accountants, surveyors have staff who are not qualified in the firm's main activity, firms obviously need to be careful reviewing/monitoring such work.

For instance years back when in practice for a CA firm whilst I might write letters to clients the partner involved always signed them. (and read them before they signed them)

As I have mentioned before, when my father was the senior partner of his law firm he read all letters issued by the entire firm every day, even those signed by the other partners, copies of all such (pink) were placed in a daybook at 4.00 pm which he read through between 4-5.15, before the mail left the building, and if not happy with any letter he would come through to mailroom and extract the offending letter from the pile until checked out, discussed with the partner concerned. (I worked as the mail clerk in school summer holidays when 16)

I think this is more a supervision issue/procedural checklist issue. (When my late father signed his last POA he went in to see his previous junior partner who checked (much to my father's amusement) that my father was mentally competent- I do find it strange that a firm of solicitors would not have that process documented as part of the will/POA process.

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By FactChecker
22nd May 2024 18:16

Welcome back ... you do enjoy jumping in the deep end don't you!

As I'm sure you know, on 24 July 2023 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a new investigation to protect consumers following complaints about unregulated will writing (among other things).

And only 10 years previously, the Legal Services Board (LSB) - following a statutory investigation - recommended to the Lord Chancellor that will writing activities should be reserved. However the then Lord Chancellor rejected this recommendation.

House of Commons Library (HoCL) published a research paper on all this last August ... https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn05683/ ... which suggests to me that there is 'appetite to regulate' lurking out there somewhere?

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RLI
By lionofludesch
22nd May 2024 20:55

I don't pilot aircraft either.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By FactChecker
22nd May 2024 22:18

... some unexpected people do (Bruce Dickinson being possibly the best known example) - but admittedly only *after* gaining a full commercial pilot's licence!

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Replying to FactChecker:
RLI
By lionofludesch
22nd May 2024 22:43

FactChecker wrote:

... some unexpected people do (Bruce Dickinson being possibly the best known example) - but admittedly only *after* gaining a full commercial pilot's licence!

David Plange is a pilot too. Delivers new planes to customers, mostly. Very keen on great circle navigation.

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Replying to FactChecker:
By SteveHa
23rd May 2024 13:51

He doesn't, anymore. He retired from piloting.

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Replying to SteveHa:
RLI
By lionofludesch
23rd May 2024 14:30

SteveHa wrote:

He doesn't, anymore. He retired from piloting.

He'll be too old, won't he?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By SteveHa
23rd May 2024 15:12

Saw them live last June, he looked sprightly enough on stage.

But he's still recovering from throat cancer, though it doesn't seem to affect his performance, but I suspect that may have been something to do with it.

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Replying to SteveHa:
RLI
By lionofludesch
23rd May 2024 16:25

Well, you don't want your pilot to have a medical emergency. He can't just pull over to the side of a cloud.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By SteveHa
24th May 2024 07:37

Eddie is always around to lend a hand.

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By FactChecker
24th May 2024 15:27

Was he i-c during the turbulent Singapore Airlines flight?

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Replying to FactChecker:
By SteveHa
24th May 2024 15:48

Highly unlikely. Ed Force One has been retired since 2016.

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
22nd May 2024 23:00

No-one should do work that they are not qualified to do. Even with people who do generally appear to be accountants (as opposed to Joe Public looking for a freebie) the advice to find a specialist in areas you don't know fully yourself is good advice.

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By Paul Crowley
23rd May 2024 16:52

The problem was compos mentis, not the contents of the will.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Justin Bryant
24th May 2024 09:09

You've fundamentally misunderstood the nature of the potential problem issue here in non-qualified people drafting wills. (Before reading this case I was not aware of this adverse litigation cost risk re will drafting and I doubt anyone else here was.)

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By Tax Dragon
24th May 2024 07:52

Why were the £64m legal fees due out of the £75m damages the post office paid, rather than being paid by the post office on top of the damages?

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