Many thousands ‘ripped off’ by unregulated will-writers

Mon 18th Jul 2011

For many years the courts have seen regular cases on wills and more particularly will-writing gone bad or, more to the point, that was never good. As the law stands, anybody can set up a business drafting wills for a living, without any qualification, regulation or insurance. This is a fact that we believe the general public is totally unaware of.

It comes as no great surprise to us here at Coodes that in his first report the first Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales has called for action to be taken to ensure consumers were not left vulnerable by unregulated services. The most complaints he saw concerned wills, conveyancing and family law.

It is true that legally you can write your will on “a fag packet” if you so wish, but the words are only half of the story and won’t get you past the finishing post of having a valid will which can be successfully administered and – most importantly – does what you intended.

As a profession, we are right up there with dentists with regard to the public’s perception of value for money, but like a dentist we can prevent a whole world of pain, albeit in this instance financial or emotional.

It is called your last will and testament for a reason – it is the last chance you get to express your wishes and safeguard the interests of those you love.

Learn from the experience of a local, elderly couple who responded to an advert in their local Parish magazine. After a quick meeting with a gentleman who appeared at their home in a suit, they received a bill of almost £700 and two documents were handed to them which he described as their wills. Unfortunately, they were so badly drafted that they needed to receive legal advice from a solicitor who had to re-draft them in their entirety at a further cost of around £200. In conclusion, they paid over three times the market rate for what were simple and straightforward wills.

Solicitors are regulated heavily and properly insured, they have detailed procedures in place that are there to protect you.

If you would like to talk to us about making your will, contact your nearest branch.

Mon 18th Jul 2011

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