Esterhuizen and Another v Allied Dunbar Assurance Plc: QBD 10 Jun 1998

A non-professional will writing agency should be subject to the same standards of professional negligence in drawing up wills as a recognised lawyer. This is necessary to protect members of the public using will writing services. ‘the process of signature and attestation is not completely straightforward and disaster may ensue if it is not correctly done. Any testator is entitled to expect reasonable assistance without having to ask exprssly for it. It is in my judgment not enough just to leave written instructions with the testator. In ordinary circumstances just to leave written instructions and to do no more will not only be contrary to good practice but also in my view negligent.’
Gazette 15-Jul-1998, Times 10-Jun-1998
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedWhite and Another v Jones and Another HL 16-Feb-1995
Will Drafter liable in Negligence to Beneficiary
A solicitor drawing a will may be liable in negligence to a potential beneficiary, having unduly delayed in the drawing of the will. The Hedley Byrne principle was ‘founded upon an assumption of responsibility.’ Obligations may occasionally arise . .

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Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.80378