Last Friday the Qld Supreme Court dismissed an application to join de Groots (as well as the individual solicitor) as defendants to a solemn form proceeding.

The proceedings involve a disputed will – the testator’s capacity is in issue.

The plaintiffs are the disappointed beneficiaries under the penultimate will.

The application was opposed on a number of grounds, but of importance to succession lawyers, it was submitted:

(a)   that the law does not recognise a duty owed by a solicitor to beneficiaries not to make a will when instructed to do so by a testator of doubtful capacity; and

(b)   to the contrary, a solicitor’s obligation is to make the will and leave it to the Court to determine its validity.

The unsuccessful applicant was ordered to pay costs of the application.

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