Wills: What You Should Know
The will writing industry in the UK has come under fire recently for not being properly regulated according to Scottish ministers. Offers on cheaply drawn up wills are to blame along with many beneficiaries finding that their payouts have been stolen too.
New legislation is being created by the Scottish government in order to offer more protection to people in Scotland. They have since advised that the same level of consideration needs to be given to the rest of the UK. The Legal Services board governing Wales and England has suggested that they need to review the current legislation.
Experts have since suggested that new laws should be brought in to make sure that anybody charging for the writing of a will must be regulated as well as having the appropriate qualifications and a professional indemnity in place.
This investigation has also shown how lots of cases where initial will writing fees were said to be under one hundred pounds were actually running in to the hundreds and even thousands of pounds. The bills were often left for the next of kin to settle after the client’s death.
Most shockingly the report discussed how one firm has lost a will even though the client had paid an additional fee to ensure it was kept extra safe. Another firm are said to have stolen thousands of pounds worth of client’s money from beneficiaries.
Figures now show that the private will writing companies are claiming around 10% off every will they create.
Prior to the set up of these will- writing company’s people would always go to their solicitor if they required professional help. The main difference between the will writing firms and solicitors is that they are not governed by law.
Solicitors are always able to prove their professional qualifications as well as being covered by a professional indemnity scheme which protects their clients.
The new regulations will come into effect in Scotland next year and the Legal Services Board will soon be carrying out a full investigation of whether or not the regulations are needed in England and Wales.