Lost wills found in bank storage mean hundreds of estates wrongly distributed

Hundreds of people will have to give back money they inherited after Lloyds Bank discovered 9,000 wills in their storage system.  In most cases, the lost wills will not cause any problems.  Most of the wills were no longer the testator’s last will because the testator had written a new will or they had kept another copy elsewhere.  

But the executors of estates that were wrongly distributed could be facing a nightmare.  If the beneficiaries who have received the estate assets refuse to return them to the executors, the executors face court proceedings to recover the assets for the true beneficiaries.  

It would also be possible that a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 could be brought against the estate at the point when a new grant of probate is issued. 

Lloyds may be facing multiple compensation claims as executors or beneficiaries seek the legal costs they incur sorting out the correct distribution of the estate. 

Lloyds Banking Group failed to return the wills of thousands of deceased customers to their families, leading hundreds of them to distribute assets to the wrong people.