A rather staggering case where the Will writer (Mr Curnock) insisted that because Mr Reeves had negotiated a fixed fee of £140 plus VAT, he would not be able to provide a first class service.
A key reminder for will writers:
Where there is a “substantial shift” in the dispositions by a testator and there is no “apparent good reason” for such a shift, those who are seeking to propound the later will have the “onus of satisfying the court that they were truly representative of the testamentary intentions” of the testator. Find out why, and document the reasons!
A dramatic change to the deceased’s testamentary intentions, together with the deep involvement of the Claimant with the solicitor tasked with implementing that change in the Claimant’s favour are circumstances that do very much excite the “vigilance and suspicion of the court”. The Court found that the way that Mr Curnock went about the preparation of the 2014 will was not merely incompetent; it was reckless and quite possibly dishonest.
A lengthy but fascinating Judgment is available!
Solicitor lambasted by judge over ‘Primark service’ for £100m will A solicitor has been described by a judge as ‘reckless and quite possibly dishonest’ over the preparation of a will for his client’s £100m fortune. Mr Justice Michael Green said wills specialist Daniel Curnock supported the claimant in Reeves v Drew & Ors by giving ‘untruthful evidence’ and said there could be ‘serious consequences’ for him as a result of his findings. The 446-paragraph judgment followed a claim from Louise Reeves to uphold the 2014 will of her father, property dealer Kevin Reeves, following his death three years ago. Louise Reeves received 80% of the deceased’s estate, with her half-sister Lisa Murray receiving the other 20%. Other family members opposed probate being granted and said the 2014 will had been the result of ‘undue influence’.