Area of law: Wills (drafting)
Complaint reason(s): Failure to keep papers safe
Remedy: To pay £400 compensation
Outcome: Ombudsman decision accepted by complainant
Mr and Mrs Q instructed the firm to draft their wills. Following the death of her husband, Mrs Q contacted them to try to locate his will. It was then she found out that the firm had closed. She had no idea where both her own and her late husband’s will was.
During the administration of Mr Q’s estate, their financial provider would not accept a copy of the will Probate had to be granted without it. This caused Mrs Q significant distress. Mrs Q’s daughter contacted the Legal Ombudsman to help locate them both as the firm’s former partners had failed to respond to when she wrote them via the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). In the meantime, Mrs Q had started proceedings to get a new will drafted.
When we investigated, we found that when the firm closed they failed to make sure that any wills were forwarded to their owners. The ombudsman decided that the firm should Mrs Q be awarded £400 compensation: £300 for failing to keep her will safe and a further £100 towards the cost of having a new will drafted. Mrs Q accepted the decision.