The Law Society of England and Wales has welcomed proposed consumer protection for those making a will in England and Wales, but has warned that failure to regulate estate administration ‘risks consumers losing everything’.
The Legal Services Board, the oversight regulator of lawyers in England and Wales, has recommended to the Government that will-writing activities should be regulated – something for which the Law Society has campaigned for some time.
“We welcome the recommendations to regulate will-writing activities, however we remain concerned that there is no regulation or monitoring in place to ensure that administrators do not misappropriate the estate’s assets,” said Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, president of the Law Society. “At the moment unregulated individuals are charged with distributing considerable sums of money. It is becoming more difficult to assist consumers to identify reputable service providers. The evidence hints at many more cases where beneficiaries do not obtain what they should.”
The Society is also urging the Legal Services Board to ensure that all those seeking the services of a will writer are entitled to the same minimum protections as those already in place for solicitors’ clients.