Complaints in focus:
Wills and probate

Read the full report or navigate round our report website below.
  • go to our twitter page, opens in new window
  • go to our youtube channel, opens in new window
  • go to our linkedin group, opens in new window

Summary

In this report we focus on the types and causes of complaints regarding wills and probate related legal services. It is currently the third most complained about area of law, making up around 13% of the 8,000 complaints resolved by the Legal Ombudsman last year.

Read more...

Ombudsman report

Wills and probate related disputes are among some of the more complex cases we see at the Legal Ombudsman.

Essentially, this area of law includes a number of functions including: will writing; obtaining a grant of probate; estate administration; and acting as an executor. However, not all of these need be authorised roles.

Read more...

Case studies

Mr A

Mr A’s mother passed away following a short illness leaving him as the named executor and beneficiary to her estate. Mr A employed a legal firm to help him administer his duties to ensure it was dealt with efficiently.

Read more...

Mr B

When Mr B’s estranged father passed away he believed he had died intestate, and therefore that the estate would naturally go to him. However, shortly after his father died, a will was discovered bequeathing everything to a charity.

Read more...

Mr C

Mr C was the son of a beneficiary (his mother) named along with eight others due inheritance following the death of a relative. The deceased gentleman had left an estate worth around £600,000, which included a property...

Read more...

Ms D

Ms D instructed a lawyer to help draft her will. She was terminally ill with cancer and the firm were therefore instructed on the basis that it could complete the work quickly.

Unfortunately, despite knowing of Ms D’s circumstances and agreeing to provide a speedy service, the firm failed to deliver...

Read more...

Miss E

Miss E felt the time was right to prepare a will and promptly instructed a legal firm to help her draft it.

She found the firm using a search engine and settled on them after reading their website which promised a quick, efficient service. However, she soon started to experience problems...

Read more...

Mr F

Mr F’s mother sadly passed away. In her will, she had left shares which were to be sold with the profits going to her estate. Responsibility for selling the shares lay with a legal firm who were instructed to act by the executors, Mr F and his sister. In principle this would be a relatively straight forward process for a firm of experienced probate lawyers.

Read more...

Mr G

Mr G, an elderly gentleman, approached a firm of will writers to draw up a will and paid them nearly £2,000 to do the work.

After a period of time Mr G had not received any indication that the will had been drafted so he contacted the firm to complain...

Read more...

Keep up to date with the latest Legal Ombudsman news

  • go to our twitter page, opens in new window
  • go to our youtube channel, opens in new window
  • go to our linkedin group, opens in new window