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.