Leics legal experts welcome moves to regulate wills

One of Leicestershire’s leading law firms has welcomed moves to regulate will-writing activities, saying it is needed to protect the public.

Peter Chadwick, of QualitySolicitors Mander Cruickshank has praised the recommendations by the Legal Services Board.

It is the first time that the board has recommended bringing previously unregulated Will- writing within the scope of the Legal Services Act, which has recently allowed many non-solicitor firms to enter the market without a requirement for regulation or professional indemnity insurance.

The LSB’s recommendation follows two years of investigation, during which it said it found comprehensive evidence that the Will-writing market is performing to the detriment of consumers and providers.

Mr Chadwick, whose firm have branches in Coalville and Hinckley, said: “This change assuming it goes ahead the change will give consumers better protection by allowing access to the Legal Ombudsman, and require regulators to develop correct approaches to supervision and enforcement.

Instead, the LSB recommends a range of initiatives to raise standards.

LSB chairman David Edmonds said that recommending new legal activities be brought within the regulatory scope of the Legal Services Act ‘is not a step we take lightly’. However the board believes that new regulation is a proportionate response to a ‘compelling case underpinned by appropriate evidence’.

The Lord Chancellor has 90 days to decide whether to accept the recommendations, which will then be debated in the Commons and Lords.

Mr Chadwick said: ‘Making a Will is a very significant step, with quite possibly life-changing consequences for beneficiaries. We would strongly advise every adult at the very least to consider whether he or she needs a Will. The Intestacy rules, which determine who is entitled to the money assets and property of those who die without a valid Will are very restrictive, and completely inflexible.

“We welcome the recommendations and we believe an experienced solicitor is still the best person to use to ensure that your wishes are carried out.”

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