A lawyer may be liable if the will-maker's wishes are not met or if any portion of the will fails due to a foreseeable error causing loss to the estate or the prospective beneficiaries. The lawyer may be liable to the beneficiaries who were intended to receive under the will or to the estate.
Here are some common errors in drafting and preparing wills:
- Using precedents incorrectly;
- Failing to follow the will-maker’s instructions;
- Failing to ascertain ownership of property;
- Failing to ascertain beneficiary designations under RRSPs, RIFs and insurance policies;
- Failing to ascertain correct names;
- Taking instructions from the will-maker that are too complicated and lead to unworkable distributions; and
- Failing to ascertain if any beneficiary is disabled.