The venture capitalists already invested in the UK’s first alternative business structure have added one of the country’s largest probate and estate administration providers to their portfolio, Legal Futures can reveal.
The Legal Services Board (LSB) will today formally recommend to the Lord Chancellor that will-writing – but not estate administration – should be regulated legal work. The LSB had initially intended to include estate administration.
Consumers, solicitors and will-writers have united to condemn the Legal Services Board’s decision not to recommend to the government that estate administration become a regulated activity. However, chartered accountants have welcomed it.
Accountants could start offering reserved probate services to the public as soon as next autumn, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales said yesterday as it submitted its application to become a regulator of probate services and alternative business structures.
The regulation of will-writing and estate administration needs to be drawn widely to ensure that the referral fee culture that has prevailed in personal injury does not emerge in private client work, the Law Society has warned.
Accountants should be excluded from Legal Services Board plans to reserve will-writing and estate administration, their professional body has argued. Meanwhile, it is not yet clear whether the SRA will be allowed to regulate will-writers.
The reservation of will-writing and estate administration should boost the amount of work and allow existing providers such as solicitors to become more competitive, the Legal Services Board said today as it laid out how the regime will work.
One of the country’s leading non-solicitor probate providers will today be unveiled as the newest alternative business structure. Kings Court Trust has chosen to be regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
It is hard to see which of the frontline regulators would regulate banks if will-writing and estate administration become reserved legal activities, the British Bankers Association has said. It also said FSA regulation covered what the Legal Services Board was seeking to do.
Concerns over the standard of will-writing by solicitors are based on limited evidence and the Solicitors Regulation Authority should not have to prove its ability to regulate such work, the Law Society has claimed.