Poor mass produced will writing practices need to be exposed, warns leading expert
Francesca Harwood, of QualitySolicitors Mander Cruickshank, said consumers are unwise to take unnecessary risks when there is often so much at stake.
She said it can take many years from a mistake being made in a will, to the error being discovered.
‘Will writing is a technical area, which can be often be underestimated by the public, and even some in legal circles who don’t write them regularly’, she said.
“There are some dreadful wills, many of them online and the public have to be told to keep clear of them,” added Ms Harwood, whose firms have offices in Coalville and Hinckley.
“The problem is mass production where companies want quantity over quality and use a one size fits all template,” she said. “’Most online services follow simple formats that can very often fail to accommodate more complex situations, and that is why the work has to be done by a specialist’.
Two years ago following a lengthy investigation, the Legal Services Board advised the Lord Chancellor that will-writing should be made a reserved legal activity. However, the government went against this advice and chose not to regulate will-writing.
Consequently, the legal industry has been left to regulate will-writing on its own.
“The problem is anyone can still claim to be a qualified will-writer as there is no real qualification process to follow,” she said.
“The fact that online will-writing services have only come to the fore in the past decade or so many people could soon be in for a terrible shock,” she added.
“Therefore, we really would advise it makes sense to make sure that your will is done properly and provide your family with peace of mind.”
Anybody wishing to know more about wills can call QualitySolicitors Mander Cruickshank on 01530 510666.