Professional Will Writing & Regulation
The Legal Services Board conducted an extensive consultation into the regulation of will writing and estate administration last year, with their findings presented to the Lord Chancellor for approval. The consultation aimed at marking an end to the recent increase in poor quality will writing services and protecting the interests of the consumer. This is a problem that has steadily affected the Probate Registry in recent times as a growing number of Wills across the UK have become invalid due to a lack of professional legal guidance at the preparation stage.
Invalid Wills cause a whole host of problems for the parties involved. In cases where the Will has an unclear meaning, the Court could eventually be called upon to determine the outcome on behalf of the beneficiaries. This judicial intervention can be problematic however, and can lead to decisions not in keeping with the testator’s original intention. In addition, the potential legal costs involved in taking a case to Court would significantly outweigh the initial cost of getting a Will made professionally in the first place. For these reasons, the Legal Services Board recommended to the Lord Chancellor that the potential risk to consumers was such that will writing activities should be subject to regulation.
In May last year, the Lord Chancellor announced their decision not to accept the Legal Services Board’s recommendation. Their decision was based on the fact that alternative measures had not been sufficiently exhausted to warrant new regulation at the present moment. At the same time however, it was accepted that consumer detriment had been recognised as a result of a lack of professionally qualified will writing providers available and that alternative efforts should be made in order to solve this matter.
At Seatons, our team of highly trained, professionally qualified solicitors have a wealth of experience dealing with Wills and will ensure your estate is handled appropriately and effectively. For added peace of mind when writing your will, feel free to call one of our professionally qualified legal advisors on 01536 276300.