STEP

Title Research

Law Society trawls for evidence of bad will-writing

21 October 2010

The Law Society has asked all its members to send in evidence of poor will-writing by unregulated will writers.

The submissions will be used in the Society's submission to the Legal Services Board, which is investigating the matter. The LSB's Consumer Panel is insisting on being shown good evidence of widespread malpractice before it recommends that will-writing be reserved to the profession.

The Law Society claims that it has received many such reports over the years, but has never formally collated the information.

Its president Linda Lee says solicitors are well placed to provide the evidence the LSB has called for, because they are often called in to sort out the aftermath of a bungled will or estate administration.

Solicitors are invited to send details of their experiences by 29 October 2010 to the Society's Policy Directorate for Will Writing at [email protected]

Particularly welcome are examples of wills that are not valid, or did not reflect the client's wishes; wills advertised as cheap but that actually costing the client significantly more than the advertised price; pressure-selling techniques; will storage problems; unregulated will-writers naming themselves as executor without explaining this to the client; hidden charges; estate administration errors or fraud; costs of sorting out invalid wills; and misrepresentations about the cost of using a solicitor.

STEP has collated the findings from a will writing survey undertaken by its members earlier this year in a soon to be released report on the UK will writing market.

The results of the survey, which asked STEP members to outline encounters with poor practice and dishonesty in the industry, will be submitted as evidence to the LSB’s Consumer Panel. 

 

Sources

STEP

Law Society

Law Society Private Client Section (formerly Probate Section)

Legal Services Consumer Panel

 


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