​How can I obtain information about the drafting of a will?

Where a solicitor has prepared a will and that will is disputed, there are various ways to obtain further information.

Often the information needed to properly understand the circumstances surrounding the drafting of a will may be in the hands or memory of the solicitor who drafted the will. 

Different ways to obtain information surrounding the circumstances of drafting the will include: 

Larke v Nugus [2000] WTLR 1033 – This case provided that where a serious dispute arises as to the validity of a will, then a solicitor should make available a statement of evidence regarding the execution of the will and the circumstances surrounding the will.

Senior Courts Act 1981
A solicitor preparing a will has knowledge that makes him or her a material witness if the will is disputed. 

The court has power under the Senior Courts Act 1981 to order a person with knowledge of any document that is or purports to be a testamentary document to attend court and answer questions relating to the document. 

Civil Procedure Rules

The court has power to order pre-action disclosure of documents. In practice however, the court rarely allows pre-action disclosure. The court could also order third party disclosure against the solicitor.

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