The Legal Services Board has announced proposals to deliver greater protection to consumers of the legal services of will-writing and estate administration. These would see the services brought within the scope of legal services regulation, regardless of who provides them. The decision on whether or not to regulate will-writing and estate administration services has long been debated, according to Rebecca Panton, a solicitor in the Private Client Department at Kidd Rapinet’s Farnham office: “The LSB has reviewed all of the available evidence about the problems suffered by some consumers in these areas, and conducted original research, to identify what the risks to consumers are and why they emerge.”
The LSB’s investigations found systemic problems with the services delivered by many different types of provider, with consistent patterns of sloppiness, simple errors and poor communication. This often resulted in an unacceptable service. Too often consumers were subjected to unfair sales practices. There have also been well-documented examples of fraud and deception.
Rebecca Panton comments: “Ultimately, people must be able to write a will with confidence, not fear. For that to be possible, everyone offering such services must deliver a baseline of consumer protection. This is not about extending regulation for the sake of it; it is about maintaining public confidence in an important legal process; enhancing the environment for reputable providers; and protecting consumers at particularly vulnerable times in their lives.” The proposals will now be further refined, with a view to final proposals being submitted early next year.
If you feel you may need advice, Kidd Rapinet can advise you. Call Rebecca Panton on 01252 713242 for further information.