Risk and Negligence in Wills, Estates, and Trusts

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In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in litigation against those who draft wills and trusts. There is significant potential for client dissatisfaction and for claims to arise out of drafting errors; failure to follow instructions; delays and missed critical dates; failure to anticipate risks and to protect the client; errors and omissions in examining and reporting on documentation; incorrect advice as to the law; fraud and dishonesty; and loss of documents. In addition, the book examines how far is it appropriate to ensure that an estate is administered properly. This book offers a detailed examination of the law relating to negligence as it applies to the preparation and administration of wills, trusts, and estates, as well as offering extensive coverage of the relevant taxation issues.

This work contains indispensable practical guidance, tailored to meet the demands of contentious solicitors and barristers involved in resolving disputes, and non-contentious solicitors and trust practitioners who want to establish best practice to prevent disputes over wills, trusts, and estates. It includes advice on best practice, explaining how to undertake this work effectively and to maintain an adequate control of risk, in the form of procedures or actions broken down into step by step processes, checklists, and example forms and controls. It contains an overview of the principles and procedure relating to these actions. It also provides appendices of forms, precedents, and checklists.

The book expands on Martyn Frost and Penelope Reed's previous book, With the Best Will in the World, (Legalese, January 2002) which was short-listed for the 2004 High Nets' Private Client Book of the Year.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199551606
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/15/2009
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Martyn Frost is a Consultant with Lane-Smith and Shindler in Manchester. Until 2005, he was Head of the Legal Department at Barclays Bank Trust Company, where he dealt with estates and trusts issues. He also has his own consultancy company which provides expert evidence reports on trusts and estates issues. He is co-editor of Trust Quarterly Review and Wills and Trusts Law Reports. Penelope Reed QC is a barrister at 5 Stone Buildings, and has a chancery practice with a special emphasis on trusts, wills, contentious probate, family provision claims, and tax. She is also the co-author of a number of titles in the area. Leon Sartin is a barrister at 5 Stone Buildings, and has a chancery practice covering all areas of contentious and non-contentious personal tax, trusts, and probate work, and related professional negligence matters. He is a contributor to Heywood and Massey on The Court of Protection and Underhill and Hayton on The Law of Trusts and Trustees.

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Table of Contents

Negligence and Will Preparation
1: An introduction to tort
2: The Duty of care in relation to will preparation
3: Other aspects of the duty of care
The Process of Will Preparation
4: Client issues
5: The will draftsman
6: Instructions, Preparation, and Execution
7: Other issues
8: Risk
Administration of Estates and Trusts9: Introduction and new business
10: Neutrality of PR and trustees
11: Administration processes
12: Timing
13: Assets
14: Distributions
15: Powers and Duty of Care
Taxation16: Wills and tax advice
17: Tax in the administration of estates
18: Tax and trusts
19: Tax advice during the lifetime of the client
Litigation20: Introduction and procedure
21: Limitation
22: The Assessment of damages
23: Mitigation and the interrelation with other claims
Statutes and AppendicesWills Act 1837
Trustee Act 2000
Will instruction form
Execution of a will
Information needed in an emergency will pack
Administration of estate progress sheet
Estate account checklist

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