Will Writing Regulation
The Law Society has been running a campaign for regulation of will writing since 2011 when a proposal on regulation of this issue was submitted to the Legal Services Board (LSB). The solicitors’ association warned about the risks of unregulated will writing for the British public and presented cases of people who suffered serious losses due to unregulated individuals writing wills and managing estates. In the proposal to the LSB, the Law Society also highlighted the problem of absence of protection for the consumers.
The Law Society’s Proposal
The Law Society emphasises the importance of regulated and monitored will writing but it is also campaigning for guaranteed protection, similar to that enjoyed by the clients of solicitors. These are under strict regulation of the Solicitors Regulation Authority which guarantees for their expertise and competence. At the same time, solicitors’ clients enjoy full protection from defaults as the Law Society guarantees compensation in the event of any wrongdoing by their members. The Law Society therefore proposes will writing regulation and protection standards that apply to solicitors including compulsory training, code of conduct, compensation fund, indemnity insurance and a system of disciplinary measures, to mention only a few.
The LSB’s Response to the Proposal
The LSB recognised the Law Society’s concerns about unregulated will writing services as justified and announced regulation and monitoring of will writing service providers. The Law Society welcomed the LSB’s announcement of regulated will writing, however, it expressed a concern that the announced changes are inadequate to protect the public. In addition, unregulated individuals are still handling large sums of money, while the consumers are having difficulties determining who is trustworthy and who isn’t. As a result, many UK citizens are not receiving what they are entitled to.
The Law Society added that the only way for the announced will writing regulation to be effective is to introduce the same protection from poor and dishonest service that is provided to solicitors’ clients. Without it, the consumers are at risk of losing their assets.
Will Writing Market Still Unregulated
As mentioned earlier, regulation of will writing including drafting and management of the assets is currently still unregulated. When the announced changes will be implemented remains uncertain. It also remains unknown what effect they will have on will drafting and related services. Considering that the risks of unregulated will writing have been shown to be very real, it is advised to turn to accredited solicitors for this service.