Spotlight falls on the unregulated Wills industry

12 August 2010

The spotlight has again fallen on the unregulated will writing industry as highlighted in the recent BBC Panorama programme. The programme opened describing a last will and testament as “one of the most important documents that you will ever have to write.” Yet the programme made the point that despite more of us having property to leave behind after our death, two thirds of people have yet to make a will.

The programme focused on the growing will writing industry and examined some of the problems people have experienced due to the lack of regulation in this area. Some rather alarming examples of overcharging, mis-selling and fraud were provided. Services which may look like good deals at the start may end up being costly or even unnecessary. As one solicitor on the programme noted, some will writers sell products without considering the advice a client needs.

Solicitors are legally trained, regulated by a professional body, fully insured and pay into a fund which is there to compensate clients should any errors be made. In general, solicitors do not charge large sums for uncomplicated wills.

The Scottish Government has recognised the need to protect the consumer in this area and amendments to the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill have been passed, offering consumers vital protections in this area. Scotland is ahead of the rest of the UK in offering such protections and south of the border is quickly looking to put protections in place.

At Inksters your wills are prepared by legally trained staff who are regulated by the Law Society of Scotland.  Did you know that wills not only require knowledge of succession law but also family, property, trust and tax law?

The programme is available to watch here on the BBC's iplayer website until Tuesday 9th August 2011.

Our staff are always happy to talk to you about the preparation of your will and if you are interested in having one prepared please contact Kathleen Simmonds on 0141 229 0880 or send Kathleen an e-mail.

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