In 2007 Ebenezer Aregbesola used Barclay’s £90 will writing service to draw up his Will. The will left half of his £800,000 London property to his daughter Timuola. However, Mr Aregbesola owned the property in question jointly with his current wife who was not Timuola’s mother. Mr Aregbesola died in 2014 and the jointly owned London property went to his wife in its entirety despite his will stating otherwise.
What went wrong?_
Barclays failed to attend to an additional process in order to change the ownership of the property. This would then enable Mr Aregbesola’s half to fall under the terms of his will and be left to his daughter. This is known as severance of joint tenancy.
Barclays was found at fault by the financial ombudsman and ordered to come up with a fair and reasonable settlement. Barclays decided to oppose the review as their will writing division was not regulated and did not have to adhere to the ombudsman’s findings. The matter has now gone to the High Court where Tinuola has no option but to risk her own money in fighting for what should rightfully be hers.
The dangers of low cost wills_
DIY and low cost wills may seem tempting, but there is a danger that they are too simplistic to reflect accurately a person’s wishes. This is especially so in an age of increasing complex family arrangements and remarriage.
When making a will you need to ensure it is legally watertight and seek advice from a regulated professional.