It has come to light that Lloyds Bank has discovered some 9,000 wills which had been stored with it under a ‘safe custody’ service that was closed to new business in 2011.
This raises the potential issue that estates may have been administered using the wrong version of a will, although the likely number of cases is said to be small.
However, where an estate has been distributed to the wrong beneficiaries, problems could arise. Lloyds has undertaken to pay appropriate compensation where this proves to be the case. However, there may also be tax and other consequences for those involved.
If you are the executor of an estate, it is important to make sure you know which is the latest version of the deceased’s will and to ensure you have access to it. It may also be sensible for those with an interest in the estate to know where the will is kept. It is possible to insure against the risks of inadvertent maladministration of an estate.