Government not keen on more regulation, warns LSB chief – despite issues around unregulated providers
The new government is not keen to extend regulation of legal services, including will-writing, the chief executive of the Legal Services Board (LSB) has warned. Richard Moriarty said innovation was key to tackling the “trilemma” facing legal services.
The Ministry of Justice has made it clear that it is not in favour of any form of regulation for will-writing, following calls by LeO for a voluntary ombudsman scheme. It said “other options should be explored first
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 Solicitors Regulation Authority has removed reference to the Law Society’s controversial practice note on Sharia succession rules from its recent guidance on will drafting, it has emerged.
Sir Michael Pitt, the new chairman of the Legal Services Board, has joined calls by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, and Lord Neuberger, president of the Supreme Court, for a single regulator.
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.
The government may look again at the question of whether to regulate will-writing, the chief executive of the Legal Services Board has indicated. Justice minister Shailesh Vara has left open the door “for further consideration”, Chris Kenny said.
Solicitors must not exploit clients’ lack of knowledge about wills for their own advantage, the SRA has warned. In a newly issued guidance note, the regulator said clients should not be led to believe that appointing a solicitor as executor was “essential or indeed the norm”.
A network set up as an alternative to established will writing representative bodies has claimed that in less than a fortnight since launch, it has already received applications from a quarter as many prospective members as it planned to sign up in the whole of 2014.
The Society of Will Writers is set to adopt a code of conduct change that will prevent its members from taking advance payments for acting in the administration of a client’s estate after research found few benefits for consumers.