In unsafe hands? Many trust estate to unregulated providers

Published: 23/09/2013

Many consumers are placing their loved ones’ inheritance at risk by using unqualified providers to write their Will, according to a report commissioned by the Legal Ombudsman.

Will-writing and estate planning is a highly specialist area of law. Yet despite this there remains no official regulation of the service thus permitting anyone to operate as a Will writer. Customers using an ill-equipped service are not only more likely to fall victim to mistakes, but also have very little, if any, opportunity to pursue a complaint if the service was inadequate.

In regards to Will writing, this could have dire consequences on your loved ones’ inheritance. Linda Cummins is the Head of Wills and Probate at Goldsmith Williams:

“Making the decision to write a Will is one many people often wrestle with for a while. So when they do finally commit to making a Will it is essential to use the services of a qualified professional. However with more than 130,000 providers operating outside the regulated domain, it is easy to see why many can end up in the hands of a non-specialist.

Linda continues by echoing the thoughts of Elizabeth France, Chair of the Legal Ombudsman’s board.

“Now is the time to start to look at ways of creating a system that is ‘accessible, transparent, effective and efficient both for consumers and businesses’. Such a system is vital to the preservation of a testator’s estate and beneficiary’s inheritance.”

“In the meantime, anyone looking for qualified legal services, including those looking to make a Will, are advised to use the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor tool to find a qualified law firm.”

Content correct at time of publication

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