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Badly drafted wills causing hardship to families

Badly drafted wills by unqualified and unregulated providers are putting families at risk of severe hardship, according to a report by the Law Society.

Research by the Society highlights cases where wills turn out to be invalid because they are not properly drawn up. This means the deceased person’s estate is treated as if he died intestate - that is, without having made a will at all.

The estate is then divided in a way laid down by the law, which could mean it goes to people the deceased person had not chosen.

The President of the Law Society, Robert Heslett, said: "Solicitors know of so many cases of people who have turned to them for help after being left with what can only be described as nightmare wills by will writers.

"In many cases, the victims are not aware their will writer is not regulated nor insured, so there is no means of redress if things go wrong."

Sometimes, people are persuaded to use these unregulated will companies because they offer a cut-price service. In reality, however, that can turn out to be a false economy.

Mr Heslett said: "While the initial cost of using these will writers can appear cheap, rectifying the damage if things go wrong can add up to much more. We advise people in this situation to consult a solicitor to check the accuracy of their will before it is too late."

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