Case study

Case study

The case:

In 1998 Mrs B asked a solicitor to draft her will leaving everything to her son. In 2017 Mrs B asked the solicitor to draft her a new will, dividing everything equally between her son and her daughter. Before Mrs B signed the new will, she passed away. This meant the 2017 will was invalid and the legal will was the one from 1998.

Mrs B’s daughter blamed delays caused by the firm for the fact the new will was not signed before her mother passed away and she brought a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

The Legal Ombudsman found Mrs B’s daughter’s complaint to be out of jurisdiction. Only a beneficiary or an executor of an estate can complain about the service a solicitor provided to someone who has since died. As the 2017 will was not valid, and Mrs B’s daughter was not named in the 1998 will as either a beneficiary or an executor, she could not bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. However, Mrs B’s son could complain as could any executor named in the 1998 will.