Articles about solicitors and legal services

All will writers ‘should be strictly regulated’

As the law stands at the moment, anyone can set up in business as a will writer.

They don’t have to have any qualifications and they are not subject to any regulatory control.

This means that you could be taking a big risk if you don’t choose carefully when seeking professional help with drawing up a will. If the person you turn to isn’t properly trained, you could make mistakes that could have a major effect on your family in years to come.

Unqualified providers often don’t have insurance and are not regulated, so you may have no redress if something goes wrong.

The Law Society has become so concerned about the issue that it has begun a campaign to ensure that like solicitors, all will providers are subject to strict regulatory control.

The Law Society spokesperson, Linda Lee, said: "Anyone in England and Wales can operate as a will writer. Many of those calling themselves will writers may have purchased a franchise to do so and are free to prepare wills without any training or insurance protection.

"The fact that most problems are detected after the individual has died is a strong argument for establishing a robust regulatory framework."

"It is extremely important to talk to a solicitor who can make sure that the will is expressed in a way that is legally watertight. A solicitor will also be able to advise on complex financial issues such as inheritance tax and trusts planning. Solicitors are all trained and regulated. They are required to have adequate insurance to protect the public."

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