Regulation of will-writing is rejected

The Lord Chancellor yesterday rejected the recommendation made be the Legal Services Board (LSB) to regulate will-writing activity.

In their statement announcing the decision it recognises that the report produced by the LSB indicates a consumer detriment in the will-writing market. However it felt that the report doesn’t adequately demonstrate that regulation is the best solution or that all other options have been sufficiently exhausted.

The statement went on to say that as separate work is being done to look at simplifying the current legal services regulatory landscape and as part of this the Lord Chancellor will consider whether it would be appropriate to bring will-writing within the scope of legal services regulation, it wouldn’t be beneficial to add complexity to the regulatory landscape in advance of this work.

Whilst the will-writing industry will not be regulated at this stage it is clear that it will continue to be under scrutiny. Pavilion Row’s advice remains; when making your Will choose somebody, whether will-writer or solicitor, who is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

A key concern arising from the original LSB report into will-writing was the poor technical quality of the Wills. One in four of wills examined by the panel were found to be inadequate. However simple or complex you believe your affairs to be it is imperative that you get the right advice and your Will is drafted correctly. Too often problems with Wills are not found until the person has died and it is too late to rectify.

STEP members are the most highly trained in this specialist area of law.