The average price of a standard will from a law firm has fallen from £124 to £118 over the last year, new research has indicated. The report, by IRN Research, warned that a highly competitive market had become even tougher with the arrival of accountants and chartered legal executives.
The chief legal ombudsman, Adam Sampson, has called on the government to extend its jursidction to unregulated will-writing and probate providers – while also highlighting continued shortcomings among regulated providers.
The Institute of Professional Willwriters has won approval for a unique alternative business structure that will enable its members and others to access related legal services for their clients, and share in the fees generated.
A parliamentary inquiry has called for a push to encourage people to make wills and that will-writers should inform all clients that they are able to leave money to charity in them.
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners members will have to abide by a code of practice when they write wills, part of an attempt by the society to fill the regulatory vacuum.
Members of the Institute of Professional Willwriters who fail to comply with its code of practice face fines or even imprisonment, as a new UK-wide scheme to strengthen self-regulation by setting standards for such codes goes live.
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and Council for Licensed Conveyancers have thrown their hats into the ring to regulate will-writers, amid further criticism of the Legal Services Board’s decision not to extend regulation to estate administration.
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.
A will-writing and probate services company in Birmingham has become the latest alternative business structure, and only the second licensed by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
North East Trading Standards Association has joined forces with the Law Society to warn consumers about unregulated will-writers mis-selling wills and delivering reserved legal activities.