Government admits "room for improvement" in will writing industry

Published by Sarah Ashcroft

The government has opted to go against the wishes of the Legal Services Board (LSB) and reject the idea of introducing new regulations for the will writing industry.

Following a two-year investigation into the matter, the LSB concluded last year that incompetence in this area is proving to be a major problem, with people's lives being "seriously damaged" as a result of mistakes made when it comes to drafting wills.

As a result, it moved to encourage Westminster to introduce rules that would mean a tighter grip of the market. By rejecting the idea, the government is allowing will writers to continue in the manner to which they have become accustomed in recent years.

It has suggested that while it agrees reform of the sector is required, it is not convinced that the proposal put forward by the LSB is the right one or that it would have the desired effect.

Justice minister Helen Grant is quoted by Money Marketing as saying the government has agreed with the LSB that there is "room for improvement" in the will writing market. However, she declared a raft of other options must be explored before committing to a particular reform.

Better guidance for professionals and superior use of existing consumer information are just two of the areas in which she suggested advances could be made instead.

David Edmonds, chairman of the LSB, said: "Naturally we are disappointed by the government's decision. However it is their decision alone to make and we will study the details and respond in due course.

"In the meantime the LSB will work with Ministry of Justice officials, consumer groups, providers and other stakeholders to ensure that the issues are tackled and that consumers' confidence in the market for will writing services is increased."

Britons should always seek the services of a legal expert if they wish to write a will, so that they can be confident their wishes will be fully met in the event of their death.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801587861-ADNFCR

Published on: May 20, 2013

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