A worrying proportion of people using will writing services are being ripped off by unregulated will writers who are uninsured and offer no means of compensation.
A report from the chief ombudsman for England and Wales, found that thousands of people are using unregulated will writing services, unaware that only customers of qualified lawyers may seek redress by submitting complaints to the ombudsman. Will writing is one of many legal services which need not be carried out in the care of a legal professional, with others including family law and conveyancing.
The chief executive of the Law Society for England and Wales, said the lack of regulation presented unfair competition to qualified solicitors, in addition to leaving customers vulnerable and without compensation when things go wrong.
Statistics have shown that more than half of Britons have not made a will, with more than three quarters of parents saying they did not have one. Of those that had written a will, one in 10 said they had not made preparations for someone to find it after death, while a similar percentage admitted they had not updated or reviewed theirs in the last 10 years.
Be aware of legal complications if will is not written properly
Many also rely on personally written wills, unaware of legal complications that could arise.
In an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of having a will written by regulated professionals, Foresters Friendly Society has launched an online will writing service for customers who have joined the provider’s 50+ Life Cover policy. The service provides access to will writers that are members of the Institute of Professional Will Writers, and offers the opportunity for a face-to-face visit at the policyholder’s home for those who are wary of online forum advice.
Liam Suter of online news hub FinanceNews.co.uk said: “We hope that the issue coming to light will raise awareness in many people who have not yet written a will, demonstrating the importance of making arrangements for your loved ones after death, and the necessity of using regulated services to ensure you are protected should anything go wrong. Will writing services such as Foresters’ that are provided along with vital over 50s cover make it simpler to take care of all the preparations necessary for your later years.”