Where a will does not reflect the deceased’s wishes, or where an estate is not properly administered, you may be able to claim.
Some of the most common issues arise where wills do not reflect the deceased’s wishes, or when an estate is not properly administered. Quite often, these mistakes are not realised until after the person making the Will has died.
There are three main ways to deal with poorly drafted wills, mistakes in wills and improper administration:
An application can be made to court to put right a clerical error or failure by a solicitor or will writer to understand a person’s wishes.
When the terms of a will are not clear, then an application to court for the court to determine the proper interpretation of the will may be made.
This is a relatively straight-forward application to court, but all parties to the will and all parties affected by the court’s decision will need to be made part of the application.
A construction summons can be brought prior to, or as part of, a professional negligence claim.
Professional Negligence Claim
Often, mistakes in wills and improper administration of an estate come about as a result of negligence by a solicitor or will writer.
It may be necessary to make a professional negligence claim against the solicitor or will writer.
A claim may be made by a disappointed beneficiary (ie someone who doesn’t inherit, but had the will been properly drafted, would have inherited).
If a will has been lost, damaged or destroyed, we can help.
Damaged or Destroyed Wills
Where a will has been lost, damaged or destroyed an application can be made to court for evidence of the will’s contents to be accepted in place of the original will.
A Will does not take effect until death and generally speaking, can be changed or revoked at any time.
A Will can be revoked by destruction by the person making the will.
Therefore, when a Will which was known to be in the deceased person’s possession cannot be found upon their death it raises the question: has it been lost or destroyed?
In these circumstances there is a presumption that the Will has been destroyed with the intention to revoke it. However, in some circumstances evidence of the person’s intentions can be put forward and accepted in place of the will.
An example of this is where a will was destroyed in an air raid and there was evidence remaining of its contents.
It is up to those seeking to benefit under the lost will to prove that the person did not intend to revoke it.
Where a Will has been lost, or destroyed for some other reason, for example if it has been lost by a solicitor accidentally, an application can be made to the Court for documentary evidence of its contents to be accepted in its place.
This can include, but is not limited to, a copy or completed draft.
We are frequently instructed by people who know there was a will, but cannot find it.
There are various methods we can use and various places (including national databases) we can check, in order to try to find the will.
Further information about how we can help you with Will and Inheritance Probate Disputes:
How We Can Help
A member of our specialist team will be happy to help.
To discuss Mistakes in Wills & Lost, Damaged or Destroyed Wills issues, please either use the contact form on the right, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us today on +44(0)161 941 4000 to speak to a member of our team.