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Investigation into will writing

For many years there has been a call for will writing to become a regulated activity to ensure that consumer protection laws are followed.

The Competition and Markets Authority have now decided to look into will writing, online divorce and pre-paid probate services to investigate whether all is as it seems.

The areas of concern for wills and probate which they seem to be targeting are:-

  • will writing - how costs are advertised and rapidly increase from the initial low cost advertised - unfair contact terms - pressure selling and coercion

  • pre paid probate plans - pressure selling, lack of transparency and plans that are set to fail!

You all know my position with these subjects. I advise my clients to never purchase a pre paid probate plan. You don't know now if you will need it in the future and you are not certain that your money will be safely looked after so it is there when needed.

There are good and bad will writers but it is such a mixed bag you cannot be certain you will get a good one!

I would love to advise everyone to only take advice from a regulated legal professional but there are those out there who will not. The best thing the industry can do therefore to protect everyone is to make sure that the same rules apply to those who are regulated or not. This can only benefit the client ultimately.

As a Specialist Lawyer in wills and probate I have had to prove to a panel of independent assessors that I have the practical experience and knowledge over my career to advise my clients in my specialist area. You are able to grill your legal adviser in the same way if you are about to instruct them to do work for you. You research other purchases you make in your lifetime so do the the same when you are making your will or are looking at the administration of your estate in future.

I really do not enjoy sending my clients bills which are higher than my charges to repair the damage of a badly drafted will and I certainly do not want to find myself in the position in future where I have to charge to administer an estate that someone has already paid for.

Let's home the CMA do a good job and come up with some solutions to protect


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