The onus is on you as Government rejects Will writing regulation

Published: 17/05/2013

Following the announcement that the Government has rejected calls to regulate Will writing, it is essential you understand the possible risks when writing your Will.

Recommendations made to the Lord Chancellor after a two-year investigation by the Legal Services Board (LSB), including a series of mystery shopping exercises, revealed nearly 10 per cent of Wills produced by unqualified Will writers would fail to due to invalid execution.

This could mean loved ones are left vulnerable despite your very best intentions.

However, despite this damning evidence, the Government has this week rejected calls to regulate the profession. Desmond Hudson, Chief Executive of the Law Society, appeared frustrated by the decision:

“Consumers have been let down by this deeply disappointing decision. We provided plenty of evidence to the LSB, demonstrating that consumers are at real risk from certain unregulated Will writers who are incompetent, untrained and uninsured.

“Thanks to the Government’s decision today, unregulated providers can carry on writing wholly unsuitable Wills, leaving consumers without any recourse when things go wrong as a result.”

If you’re going to do something, do it right

Linda Cummins is the Head of Wills and Probate at Goldsmith Williams. She too had high hopes for the regulation of Will writing:

“The regulation of Will writing would have given consumers better protection and consistent access to redress by allowing access to the Legal Ombudsman for consumers of all will writing providers so to have these calls ignored is incredibly disappointing.

Making a Will is often something a lot of people battle with or continue to put off in the first instance so it is worrying that those who have finally bitten the bullet and made a Will to ensure the financial future of their loved ones could still find themselves exposed and vulnerable.

Will-writing and Estate Administration is a specialist area of law, one that requires expert advice from qualified and regulated professionals. With the Government rejecting these calls, the responsibility now falls on you, the consumer to make your Will with a regulated and specialist solicitor or professional will writer.”

Content correct at time of publication

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