Consumers are being warned about an influx of unregulated will writers attempting to invade the country’s legal service market.
The ‘cowboy writers’ are causing a series of problems throughout the sectors, with the Law Society warning the public to be careful of invalid wills and writers falsely installing themselves as executors on estates.
According to the Society, qualified solicitors have seen an increase in invalid and badly drafted wills in the past year. In some instances, documents have disappeared after will writing companies went insolvent, and family members have been left out of wills against the wishes of an estate’s owner.
“This is a widespread trend,” said Law Society President, Robert Heslett. “We hear many stories of unregulated, uninsured will writers misleading too many people as to their supposed but absent expertise.”
“What is most worrying is that their victims are often unaware that their will writers are not regulated, nor is their any mechanism for complaint.”
Earlier this month, a report by Lord Hunt warned consumers of a growing “fringe legal market,” concerned with will writing, probate work and claims handling.
“I perceive a serious breach of both the public and the consumer interest in any area of activity that looks or ‘smells’ like a reserved activity but is allowed to go unregulated,” read the report.
Update August 2010
Following Panorama’s investigation on Will Writers, “Wills – the final RIP off” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tfqqj further calls for regulation in this area have been made.
The fraud case surrounding Willmakers of Distinction (UK) Limited based in Lincoln illustrated the extreme problems that can arise from using an unregulated will writer.
Essex based, Affinity Wills, who were mentioned in the program, responded to critism of their service via the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_8893000/8893607.stm .
If you are concerned about a Will made by a Will Writer we can assist – for help and assistance in regulating your affairs or writing a new Will call David Farr or Keith Darvill on 01708 757575