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    What counts as an error in a WIll?

    For example, it might be that:

    • The person who drafted the Will made a mistake and did not correctly understand the what the deceased had wanted. As such, the provisions in the Will don’t provide in the way the deceased had intended
    • The person who drafted the Will made a clerical error, such as noting numbers or shares incorrectly, or spelling something incorrectly – any of which can also result in the Will not providing in the way the deceased had intended

    If you think such a mistake has been made, it is a good idea to obtain professional legal advice as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, errors can lead to disagreements between the friends and relatives of the deceased, and / or those who expected to benefit under the Will but now do not inherit – or do no inherit as much – as a result of the mistake.

    Our solicitors can advise you on the options available to you in such circumstances. These may be:

    • Rectification
    • Construction
    • Professional Negligence

    In some cases, more than one of these options can be pursued at the same time.

    What is ‘rectification’?

    This is where an application is made to the Court for the mistake in the Will to be ‘rectified’ i.e. corrected to what was intended by the deceased and the will writer. The application involves gathering evidence from around the time the Will was made that can show what the deceased’s intention had been. This tends to be limited primarily to small errors such as typographical errors.

    What is ‘construction’?

    This is where an application is made to the Court to interpret a Will if, for example, a particular clause or wording is unclear or ambiguous and the parties involved cannot come to an agreement.

    What is ‘professional negligence’

    In the context of Wills and estate planning advice, this is where a professional has failed in his / her / their duty towards either his / her / their client and/or the beneficiaries ( or potential beneficiaries) of the Will that has been prepared.

    There are various ways professional negligence can arise. For example, did the professional:

    • Take too long to prepare the Will for the client?
    • Make a clerical error in the Will, or misunderstand the client’s instructions?
    • Not make sure that the Will was properly executed and, therefore, formally valid?
    • Fail to advise on consequences of leaving out people who may have expected to inherit from the Will?
    • Give the wrong advice with respect to tax or the law and its implications?
    • Fail to advise on other action that may need to be taken for the Will, as intended, to take effect? For example, making sure that a joint tenancy of a property has been severed.

    Related services

    Your key contacts:
    ...
    Claire Martin
    Partner  Head of Private Client

    Tel:02072280017

    ...
    Prue Abrahams
    Senior Associate Private Client

    Tel:02072280017

    ...
    Amaya Huntly
    Senior Associate Wills, Probate, Trusts

    Tel:02072280017

    ...
    Samantha Fennah
    Associate  Private Client

    Tel:02072280017

    ...
    Rajinder Rai
    Senior Associate & Accredited Mediator Private Client

    Tel:02072280017

    ...
    Olivia Emmett
    Trainee Solicitor Private Client

    Tel:02072280017

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