Bright & Sons

Maldon  01621 852323
Tiptree  01621 819019
Witham 01376 512338

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  • Solicitors for the Elderly call for urgent regulation of will writing

    10/8/2011

    Solicitors for the Elderly fear thousands of people are putting themselves at risk of being cheated by unscrupulous salesmen who offer to write their wills but who are not adequately qualified, trained or insured.

    Last month the UK’s Legal Ombudsman highlighted dangers of using will writing companies to make wills.  This week The One Show also called for will writing to be regulated to protect the public.  A recent survey showed that 67% of consumers wrongly believe that all will writers are solicitors and 82% of the 1,000 people polled thought that training and qualifications are required before someone can become a will writer.  In fact, anyone can write a will for payment.

    Amanda Bright, head of Private Client Services at Bright & Sons, who is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, said, “Will writers need no training and they aren’t regulated so if you choose a will writing company to do your will you are taking a huge risk.  I have heard horror stories of clients who have used will writers and then paid the price.  It can be very costly to sort out after you have gone, leaving your family to pick up the pieces as problems generally only come to light when you have died.”

    Amanda went on to say to say, “We need regulations to help protect the consumer, particularly old and vulnerable people”.

    Many people make wills when they enter their senior years and are targeted by will writing companies who often apply high-pressure selling techniques, offering wills for a low or discounted fee, then recommend themselves to be appointed as executors, selling other services without full advice, such as transferring the home into a trust in an attempt to avoid care fees.  Terms and conditions can be poorly worded and difficult to understand.

    Will writers often claim they are significantly cheaper than solicitors but recent research carried out by Which? Magazine found on average the price of a will from a will writing company is only marginally cheaper than the average price of a will from a solicitor.  Professionals, such as solicitors and legal executives are regulated, have recent qualifications, undergo continual training, must be insured and provide redress if things were to go wrong.  Given the protection you get by making a will with a regulated profession the small difference in price is well worth it.

    If you would like to make a will or need advice on related matters, please contact Amanda on 01376 512338 or at amanda.bright@brights.eu.com.

    Solicitors in Essex with
    offices in Maldon, Tiptree
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