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Why am I Left in the Waiting Room?

elderly couple, writing a will

Posted on 08 Sep 2023

Many new Will enquiries come from concerned relatives and loved ones on behalf of older or vulnerable new clients. At Swayne Johnson Solicitors, we welcome enquiries from everyone – we’re always willing to provide information about the Will making process and cost. We also welcome the opportunity to work with families.


However, making a valid Will requires you to exercise independent decision making, free of any undue influence from others.  The High Court made this point in a recent case involving a daughter and her ailing mother (Jones and Ors v Jones 2023).


The mother was aged 82 when she made her only Will, leaving everything to one of four daughters. She had been diagnosed with dementia and lived with heart issues.  She died 3 months after signing her Will. The Will was challenged by the other 3 daughters. No solicitor was involved in the preparation and execution of the Will and the mother was not medically examined at the time.


Looking at the facts, the court found that the mother was coerced into preparing her Will by her daughter. The Will was overturned, and the estate distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy (down the bloodline).


This case serves as a useful reminder that a good solicitor will always:-

  • Ensure that they take instructions from only their client
  • Make time to meet with the client alone
  • Consider whether it is appropriate to obtain a certificate of capacity
  • Consider whether it is appropriate for the client to prepare a Side Statement explaining the reason(s) why they have made a Will in the terms that they have


If you or a loved one needs to make or update a Will, call our friendly, professional team for further information: 01745812835.

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