A warning to Will writers – always follow the Golden Rule

This case is rather staggering. A solicitor accepted instructions to prepare a Will, from a 94 year old, suffering from dementia, and despite his GP stating that he did not believe he would ever regain testamentary capacity. For some reason, he proceeded to prepare the Will and this was overturned.

A reminder to all those who draft Wills, follow the Golden Rule. If you have any doubt that the testator has capacity, get a medical report. I would expect a professional negligence claim to follow this case.

Will cancelled after solicitor failed to probe ‘paranoid delusions’

The High Court has rejected a will executed by a man suffering from delusions after his solicitors failed to do adequate medical checks. Master Clark ruled in Boast v Ballardi & Ors that Edward Smith’s will from 2013 should effectively be replaced by one from seven years earlier after a legal challenge from his nephew.
The claimant, Gavin Boast, was the sole executor and sole beneficiary under the 2006 will for an estate which included a cottage in Suffolk and estimated savings of £140,000. But the 2013 will stipulated that Boast should receive £15,000 with the residuary estate left on trust for his sisters. Smith died in 2016, aged 97.