Barclays has come under fire after a Will they produced resulted in a woman losing her stake in a valuable London home.
Tinuola Aregbesola was left half of a London home in the Will of her father, Ebenezer Aregbesola. He owned his home jointly with his wife as joint tenants and when he died the house went to his widow (who is not Tinuola’s mother) as is procedure when a property is owned as joint tenants. Unfortunately, this was against the wishes set out in the Will and his widow can now leave the whole house to whoever she chooses.
Regrettably, when preparing the Will, Barclays didn’t sever the joint tenancy agreement which would have enabled half of the property’s value to pass to Tinuola.
The £90 Will service that Barclays offers highlights the danger of cheap Wills, which are often too simplistic to reflect accurately the deceased’s wishes. In this case, the simple formality of severing the tenancy was neglected.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has found that Barclays is at fault and ordered them to pay a fair and reasonable settlement to Tinuola. Barclays has decided to ignore their recommendation and the matter has now gone to the High Court.
We have covered the dangers of DIY Wills in a previous blog, but it’s important to remember that a Will is one of the most important documents you can write. It’s vital to make sure that a solicitor sees it and makes sure that all the minute details and correct steps take place.
The increased complexity of family arrangements means that your Will must be reviewed regularly and, whenever there is a change in the family construct, to have it re-written. Where there are new spouses, step children, ex-spouses or children from outside the marriage, your wishes must be really clear and exact to make sure that what you want to happen after your death is carried out.
By using a professional Wills and Probate solicitor you can be sure that they know the exact ins and outs of the law and will be sure to complete all necessary paperwork for your wishes. If you appoint them as your executor you can also be sure that they will carry out your wishes.