February 19, 2014

A solicitor owes a duty of care to his or her client.  This duty arises in contract (under the terms of the retainer agreement) and as a professional duty imposed on all lawyers to act with skill and competence when serving their client.

The appropriate standard of varies with the circumstances and type of legal work being performed.  Solicitors engaged in drafting a will for a client have a basic duty to ensure that the testator executes a valid will which gives effect to the client’s testamentary wishes.  In addition, the drafting solicitor must ensure that he or she has a full understanding of the circumstances surrounding the drafting of the will – the client’s health and competency, family dynamics, the client’s testamentary wishes, and a full appreciation of the client’s assets.  Failure to meet the standard of care (as defined by the circumstances) leaves the drafting solicitor vulnerable to a negligence claim.

Read the full paper here: Duty and Standard of Care of Solicitors Practicing in Estates