Avoid the pitfalls of cheap will writing

Around 38,000 families a year suffer the ordeal of prolonged probate from ineffective or poorly drafted wills. In a recent case which received national media attention Ms Aregbesola is seeking hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation from Barclays, claiming the bank’s will writing service resulted in her losing her stake in a valuable London property.

The property in question was jointly owned by Ms Aregbesola’s father and his wife, who is not Ms Aregbesola’s mother. Ms Aregbesola’s father’s will instructed that half of his matrimonial home was to be given to his daughter on his death. Due to the joint ownership the property went wholly to his wife in contravention of his wishes. It is claimed that Barclays neglected to sever the joint tenancy agreement – had this been done Ms Aregbesola would have received her father’s half share of the property under his will.

Barclays are contesting the claim but it was revealed (source :Telegraph Money) that the complaint was previously assessed by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FSO) and they laid the blame with Barclays. The matter has now gone before the High Court as Barclays chose not to follow the Ombudman’s recommendation to pay ‘a fair and reasonable settlement’ and instead Barclays said that since its will writing division is not regulated it does not have to adhere to the Ombudsmans’ findings.

Wills & Tax solicitor Julie Partington says, "This case highlights the importance of having your will written by an experienced, up to date and regulated lawyer. My department offers a free initial consultation where we can sit down and explain any existing will that you may have or take your instructions on the preparation of a fresh will."

Our Wills & Tax team based in Christchurch also cover Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.