The Law Society has backed the Legal Services Board’s recommendation that will writing should be regulated but has called on the Government to go further to protect consumers.
The Legal Services Board has recommended to the Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling that will writing should be regulated, following industry consultation last year.
The Law Society, the professional body for solicitors, has welcomed the proposal but says the Government should go further than the LSB’s recommendation as estate administration, the distribution of deceased person’s estate, should also be regulated.
Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff says: “We welcome the recommendations to regulate will writing activities, however we remain concerned that there is no regulation or monitoring in place to ensure that administrators do not misappropriate the estate’s assets.”
She says the Law Society submitted evidence to the LSB of people who have been prosecuted for running off with estates, and says it is becoming harder to help consumers identify “reputable” service providers.
Scott-Moncrieff adds consumers seeking will writing services should be covered by the same minimum protection offered to solicitors’ clients, such as mandatory solicitors insurance and the Law Society compensation fund.
She says: “Consumers have every right to expect such guarantees. Two tier regulation, which falls short of offering similar protection to all those seeking help in making a will, would be confusing to consumers.”