Vulnerable clients and beneficiaries

When a client wants to make a Will, the legal advisor has a duty to consider the client’s vulnerability amongst other things.

Some common risk factors the legal adviser ought to consider are:

• lack of mental capacity

• diagnosed mental health problems

• learning difficulties

• hearing or visual impairment

• a suggestion of financial abuse

• the client heavily relying on others

If any, or all, of these factors are not dealt with, the Will may ultimately be invalid.

Sometimes, people write their own Will or ask someone who isn’t legally trained to do it for them. All types of obstacles can arise from this, especially where the person making the Will has a vulnerability.

For a Will to have the best potential to be valid, it is always advisable to have a solicitor do it.  It is not just about putting down the wishes of the client, it is also about protecting the intended beneficiaries. It is important to consider the vulnerability of potential beneficiaries of a Will and whether a Trust ought to be considered to assist the beneficiary.

Solicitors have insurance, are highly regulated and are best able to provide the advice required to make sure intentions are carried through.

If you are concerned about ensuring your intended beneficiaries receive your estate, we would be pleased to discuss your Will planning requirements. We are vastly experienced in drafting Wills to cover a range or requirements from Inheritance Tax planning to ensuring vulnerable beneficiaries are protected.  Contact Robert Gore, Melissa Hamilton or Emma Sezer on 01606 74301.