Davis Blank Furniss – the Manchester based law firm – welcomes the news that the proposals to regulate will-writing and estate administration providers are becoming a possible reality after the Legal Services Board (LSB) this week confirmed its plans to make them ‘reserved activities’.
The new proposals, which are designed to protect consumers, are likely to be recommended to the Lord Chancellor for his approval. This development comes nearly a year after the main consultation process was launched.
If they are put in practice, the proposals would ensure that organisations providing these kinds of services would be fully regulated. The LSB’s investigations found a catalogue of problems with some providers delivering ‘consistent patterns of sloppiness, simple errors and poor communication’. It also claimed that all ‘too often consumers were subjected to unfair sales practices’, fraud and deception.’
Karen Witter – partner in the private client department at Davis Blank Furniss – commented; “All too often, we see people from across the North West who have received a poor service from inexperienced and sometimes even aggressive organisations. Many clients who come to us are surprised when we explain to them the implications of their current wills, particularly where they didn’t realise that they had appointed the will writing providers to be their executors and that they would charge a fee for dealing with their estate. Will writing and estate administration can be complex so it is vital to get advice and guidance from people who actually know what they are doing.
Karen added; Over the past couple of years, we have seen a sharp rise in those seeking help so hopefully these proposals will be implemented as they would give the general public proper protection and would ensure the industry is free from rogue providers.”