Managing risks in the wills and estates area

27 October, 2017

LPLC has published Wills and estates, the latest in our series of snapshots which are designed to provide data about claims against practitioners in specific practice areas as well as risk management strategies at a glance.

This snapshot shows that between 2007 and 2017, claims in the wills and estates area accounted for eight per cent of the number of LPLC’s claims and four per cent of the total claims cost. However, in the 2016/17 policy year, these figures were 11 percent and nine per cent respectively.

The most common allegations in the claims were:

  • administration mistakes including:
  • delay in finalising estates
  • finalising estates too quickly
  • mistakes in dealing with real property and other assets
  • not protecting remainder beneficiaries or infants’ interests
  • distributing the estate other than as set out in the will
  • premature distribution of the estate
  • will preparation issues including:
  • delay in preparation
  • inadequate instruction-taking
  • no or ineffective residuary clause
  • drafting errors
  • missed time limits when acting for TFM claimants
  • liability for executors’ behaviour
  • failing to adequately assess testamentary capacity.

For more detailed information about claims against practitioners in the wills and estates area and how to manage the risks, see LPLC’s practice risk guide Weather-proofing wills and estates.