A notary must act as a reasonably competent and reasonably acting professional when drawing up a last will. If he fails to do this, a notary violates the standard of care that a notary must observe. In that case the notary can be held liable for damages an heir suffers as a result of this violation. In such liability cases, a distinction must be made between a notary's violation of the standard of care and any damages resulting thereof.
Of course, any damages related to such violation often consist of missing (a part of) the inheritance. In this context, the content of a last will that has been drawn up by the notary is relevant. The Dutch Supreme Court recently ruled that the interpretation of a last will that has been drawn up by the notary is, among other things, important for an answer to the question whether an act of violation of the standard of care has resulted in attributable damages.
Please contact Rens Kloppenburg for more information.