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Law Society backs calls to regulate will writing

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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.”

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Comments

There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Hmm, a guild calling for greater barriers to entry, dressed up as consumer protection.

  2. 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 …………………. or please legislate that only solicitors can do wills so that we can overcharge with no competition.
    Law Society compensation fund – ever tried suing a solicitor??

  3. They just want a “closed shop” nothing to do with Will Writers ability or ethics

  4. Nicholas Pleasure 13th February 2013 at 9:24 am

    Another area of life that will be regulated to perfection to such an extent that no-one will be able to afford it.

  5. OK I’ll bite, I will support the legal professions backing of regulation of Will writing if the legal profession will back the IFA’s right to give financial advice.

    After all how many solicitor practices offer wealth management services without having the proper FSA registration!

    How many solicitors give advice to divorcing couples in the area of pensions and pension sharing orders without having the support of an IFA!

    How many solicitors give inheritance tax advice which often involves detailed investment recommendations without the support of an IFA!

    Now I know there are solicitors who do have ties with IFA’s but how many times to we get a referral at the end of the process rather than the beginning.

    I would like to get a petition going asking the FSA to do a crackdown on solicitors giving illegal financial advice which contravenes the Financial Services Marketing Act 2000. If there is anybody out there that knows how to go about running such a petition please get in touch.

  6. How exactly is this going to work.

    The Will writer prepares a Will for me now. In 35 (or maybe 50 if I am lucky enough to get a telegram from King Will himself), I snuff it and my family find out it was rubbish.

    The Will write has closed up shop and is probably dead as well. There is no PI in place because it is on a “claims received” basis.

    So I have paid for protection which is as useful than a chocolate teapot.

    Actually it is less useful – a chocolate teapot can at least provide a home for a chocolate dormouse!

  7. @ Peter Turner

    I believe, an ashtray on a motorbike is a more apt analogy Peter!

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