Anyone with assets 'ought to write a will'

by Daniel Jones

As evidence has mounted about sharp practices in the will writing industry, an increasing number of people may have turned to diy wills to look after the process entirely by themselves. Reports have shown a number of problems in the market, prompting calls for reform of the sector by the Legal Services Board.

One study from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, for example, highlighted the scale of "cowboy" will writers. Three-quarters of the professional trust and estate practitioners surveyed had encountered cases of "incompetence or dishonesty in the will-writing market" in the 12 months prior to the survey.

The problem is not solely reserved to will writers – solicitors have come under scrutiny as well. Do-it-yourself will kits are one way for customers to ensure they do not fall prey to unscrupulous will writers.

However, the Legal Services Board wants to offer even more protection, and is calling for will-writing and estate administration services in England and Wales to be regulated.

In response to this, the Institute of Professional Willwriters has noted just how important it is for people to make a will.

"By making a will you are ensuring that those that you love will have as much help, guidance and direction as possible about what to do and what not to do with your stuff - at a time when they will need all the help that they can get," explains Paul Sharpe, the organisation's chairman.

"Anyone who has assets should have a will, even if it's just a bank account with a few thousand in it."

He says it is nearly always cheaper, quicker and less hassle to distribute assets when there is a will than when there is not such a document in place.

"Anyone who is responsible for a child should also make a will to make provisions for the care of their child if they become unable to do so," he added.

"Making a will not only determines who is to benefit - as opposed to leaving it to chance - but also to say when they benefit."

Lawpack's DIY Will is solicitor-approved and regularly updated so you have can peace of mind that it is legally correct. 

Plus both our Online Will and Bespoke Will services are provided by top UK law firm Irwin Mitchell, so you can trust that your Will is in capable hands.

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Published on: May 2, 2012

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