The Aunts' previous Wills had left their estates between their great-niece and great-nephew. The new Wills prepared by the solicitor included a gift of one-third of the entire estate to him, disinheriting the great-niece and great-nephew who challenged the Wills.
The Court ruled that the solicitor had not obtained full knowledge and approval when including the new clauses to the Wills. Their judgement also took in to consideration the fact that both ladies were in hospital at the time and had bad eyesight. There was also doubt as to whether or not they had capacity to provide such instructions.
As such, the Court reinstated the earlier Will. Unfortunately, the solicitor had already distributed one of the estates in full and had distributed most of the others' and he had also filed for bankruptcy. Indeed, when the solicitor drafted the Wills, he had also obtained powers of attorney from them and had removed monies, it is claimed, from their accounts as soon as he could under this power. Additionally, it was claimed that he raised dishonest invoices to obtain further funds from them.
As such, the Court referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service and the solicitor has also been suspended from his profession.
The above is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.