‘Writing a will is one of the most important financial and personal decisions that someone will make, and the public should be protected accordingly” (Law Society President, Linda Lee).
BBC News has reported yesterday on the findings of the first report of the Legal Ombudsman: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14180643. The Legal Ombudsman was appointed in October 2010 to provide consumers with access to an independent expert to assess and resolve complaints made against lawyers. In this first report the Chief Ombudsman Adam Sampson states the majority of complaints received regarded companies providing unregulated legal services such as will writing, conveyancing and family law. “One service which crops up a lot is will writing. It’s a service carried out often by will writing firms who aren’t regulated” said Mr. Sampson. “Because of this, customers are left with little means of redress when things go wrong”.
Currently anyone in England and Wales can operate as a will writer. Non regulated will writers are not obliged to hold any formal qualification. These unregulated firms run the real risk of producing inadequately drafted wills which fail to taken into account complex legal and financial matters.
At B Legal we provide clients with expert legal advice regarding their wills and also explain the issues of tax, trusts and property rights which often arise from will discussions. As solicitors we are legally trained and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. In the event of a solicitor making a mistake when drafting your wills the consumer has financial redress through the solicitors’ indemnity insurance, a compensation fund and via the Legal Ombudsman’s scheme www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
The Law Society’s Chief Executive Desmond Hudson said consumer protection must be a priority: “Anyone seeking advice on wills should go to a solicitor to ensure that the will is done properly”
If you would like to discuss making your Wills and how this can benefit you please contact us for a free initial half hour consultation.