AdminUrgent Cases and Avoiding Time Delays

The issue of time delays is a problem which nearly all Will Writers will face, most commonly due to the age or health of the testator. The case of White v Jones [1995] highlights this issue. A Solicitor took instructions and was found to be negligent because more than 40 days had passed, from the taking of the instructions and the client then dying before the Will was produced.

We require your cooperation in order that we can provide our services as efficiently as possible. As the instruction taker you have a duty of care to your clients to ensure that any possible risks are minimised.

Where a case is urgent due to age, health or other reasons, there are a number of areas that we would highlight.

Submitting Instructions

When instructions are taken and submitted to us, any health and age issues must be clearly highlighted to us, either on the front cover of the instruction itself or on a covering letter/email, so we can ensure that there are no time delays in producing the documents. With issues such as these, we would hasten the drafts as best we can.

We advise that urgent instructions are sent to us electronically to remove any additional delays. If instructions are posted to us, we would recommend that it is sent to us by special delivery to ensure next day delivery and that you inform us that it is on its way so we know to expect an urgent case in the post.


Our standard timescales for issuing draft documents is 7-10 working days for all cases that have not been expressed, with even shorter draft terms for express cases to ensure the service requested is provided with minimum risk of negligence claims.

The use of express services should be considered if age or health is a potential issue. Where an express service is being used please inform us of the reasons that the express service is being used. This allows us to prioritise express cases accordingly.

Receipt of Drafts

Following the issuing of the initial drafts for checking, it is important to ensure WillPack are kept up to date over any expected delays for any reason. This allows us to keep our files up to date with the current circumstances and we can approach and handle the case in the appropriate way. If we are kept updated, the paper trail will allow our insurance to offer the protection to both yourself and WillPack in the event of any negligence claims due to time delays.

Final Documents

We send all our final documents by first class post. Whilst the Royal Mail attempt to deliver first class post the next working day, this is not guaranteed. Where a case is urgent, we recommend that final documents either be sent to you by special delivery to guarantee next day delivery or by electronic means.

There will be additional costs to cover the Royal Mail’s special delivery fee. At the time of writing, this is ordinarily £6.90 for next day delivery by 1pm but this may be more depending on the weight of the parcel.

Chris Rattigan-Smith