The Legal Services Board (“LSB”), recently recommended that all Will Writers should be regulated, not just solicitors as is presently the case, because of the risk to the public which their investigation brought to light.
However, the LSB think that probate administration and the preparation of powers of attorney should not be similarly regulated.
Fraser & Fraser, genealogists and stars of BBC 1’s programme Heir Hunters, have commented that it would seem the LSB finds the risk of fraud to be too small to justify regulation, given that only 5% of estate administration practitioners are unregulated. Charles Fraser has commented “ A lack of regulation… leaves the door open to inexperienced and unqualified individuals to take part in the practice. These are services used by individuals at a time when they are vulnerable, and consideration should be given to protecting these consumers.” No doubt those “few” people who have suffered from fraud, or even simple incompetence, would agree!
As Hewitsons’ clients may be aware, many solicitors are authorised and regulated not only by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, but also have additional qualification in the field of Wills and estates, through membership of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners. The letters TEP, after an advisor’s name, are a useful indicator of both quality and experience in this area of work.
If you would like further information please contact Carolyn Bagley on 01604 467015 or click here to email Carolyn.