by Matt Gibson
It may come as a surprise to many that anyone can operate as a professional will writer.
However, drafting a will can be very complex and unlike most other legal activities, an error in a will would more than likely only come to light when a client dies. During bereavement this can cause extra stress to loved ones and may mean that the intentions of the client are not followed. The result is a lengthy application to Court to rectify the will, incurring great expense against the client’s estate.
Whilst it is not in question that there are a number of capable will writing companies in existence, the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s recent investigation has shown that there are many rogue will writing companies whose actions are causing devastating consequences.
Unregulated will writers are not answerable to the Legal Ombudsman. Therefore, there is little recourse for clients should an issue arise. It's also heavily suggested unregulated writers encourage the drafting of an over complicated will to justify charging exorbitant fees and may not have sufficient expertise to provide competent advice relating to tax and Trust issues. It's for these reasons that heated debate often erupt over the regulation of will writing.
Solicitors, governed by the Solicitors' Code of Conduct, are both required to act on the client's best interest and trained to grant peace of mind on an often difficult subject. Wills and Probate Solicitors also undergo years of academic study to meet their requirements for qualifying. Should an issue arise, a Solicitor's firm must have comprehensive insurance in place to compensate for any loss suffered.
f you feel you have any issues relating to this article or for further advice on wills and probate matters, please contact Matt Gibson on 0114 2561560.