Proposals for Regulation of Will Writing Services

The Legal Services Board has recently announced proposals to make Will writing a reserved activity.  This would mean that anyone offering Will writing services would need to be regulated, therefore providing greater protection to consumers.

Many people are surprised to learn that currently anyone can operate as a Will-Writer without being required to follow guidelines, gain qualifications or provide consumer protections such as insurance.

Drafting a Will can be complicated with numerous different legal principles which must be followed and should not be undertaken by a Will-Writer who may lack the necessary level of training or knowledge.  Unfortunately, it is common that problems with Wills are only detected when the individual has died, leaving major problems for the bereaved and most certainly adding to the costs and complications involved in administering the estate.

Although the recent announcement by the Legal Services Board is a step in the right direction, for the time being the public must remain wary of unregulated Will-Writers who may not have the expertise to draft a Will correctly or may try to charge an exorbitant fee for doing so.

Solicitors must undergo years of both academic study and practical training and are governed by the strict rules of the Solicitors Code of Conduct.  People using a Solicitor can therefore be assured that the advice they are receiving is correct and in accordance with their best interests.  Additionally, in the unlikely event that there is a problem Solicitors are answerable to the Legal Ombudsman.

The best way to make sure that your estate goes to those that you want to benefit is to make a proper Will with a qualified Solicitor.  For further information please contact our Private Client Department at MKB Solicitors LLP on 01226 210000.

Matthew Gibson
Private Client Department