Will drafting—client care
Will drafting—client care

The following Wills & Probate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Will drafting—client care
  • The solicitor's relationship with the client
  • Meeting the client
  • Accepting or refusing instructions and ceasing to act
  • Treating clients fairly
  • Confidentiality
  • Conducting the matter
  • Complaints
  • Costs
  • Negligence
  • more

The preparation of a Will may be one of the most significant services that a practitioner will perform for their client. In many cases it will require substantial and innovative uniqueness of thought. Because of this importance, a practitioner must do all in their power to prevent that Will from failing. They must not only do the job but they must be scrupulous in observing their professional duties. The SRA Standards and Regulations 2019 contain guidance on those matters that are of relevance to client care in the section entitled ‘Client care’ dealing with general conduct issues.

The solicitor's relationship with the client

A solicitor must at all times act in the best interests of the client and in accordance with the professional standards set out in the principles enshrined in the SRA Standards and Regulations. Inter alia, the practitioner must exercise the following duties:

  1. confidentiality

  2. recognise and avoid a conflict of interest

  3. not take unfair advantage

These duties are particularly important and relevant in the context of Will drafting as there may be circumstances when relatives insist on knowing the contents of a Will and many occasions where a solicitor's client wishes to leave them a gift.

Although not expressly set out in the 2019 Standards and Regulation, there is no reason to suppose that the principles contained in the SRA