A recent case of a Will, created by a high street bank’s will-writing service has ended up in The High Court. Described as ‘The £90 Will’, it has led to an investigation by the Financial Ombudsman and now is on the way to the High Court.
A Barclays Bank customer had used the will-writing service offered by his bank, to deal with various assets including overseas property and his residence in London. His instructions to the bank were that on his death, half of his UK home should be transferred to his daughter.
The property in question was jointly owned by the customer and his wife, who was not actually his daughter’s mother. It is a result of this ‘joint ownership’ that led to the property being transferred wholly to his wife after he died – against the conditions in his Will.
The error has now led to a claim from the daughter for her share of the value of the house.
Property Aspects Magazine spoke with Paul Dodsworth, Managing Director of specialist will-writers & Trust advisors, Estate Planning Solutions. He stated, “This issue has occurred as a result of the bank not severing the joint tenancy on the property. Had this been done, as he wished, half of his property would automatically have gone to the correct beneficiary – his daughter.”
“In my opinion,the basic principle of writing an ‘off the shelf’ will is not conducive to proper or professional will-writing or estate planning.”
Paul added: “It is not a surprise to see other organisations not understanding all the complexities of estate planning, as it is such a specialist area of knowledge.”
Paul concluded: “As members of the Institute of Professional Willwriters, we are highly-qualified, fully trained and strictly regulated. Wills can vary massively in complexity from very basic to estate planning Wills that are used to ensure that a client’s wishes are followed.”
It seems that the sensible thing to do would be to use an estate planning expert, who will provide you with the correct and proper advice.
Paul Dodsworth can help you on matters of Wills, Property Trusts, Sideways disinheritance and all other Estate Planning matters. He can be contacted on 0800 781 6658 or via estplan.co.uk