A family-run firm of funeral directors with 36 branches has become the first of its kind to set up an alternative business structure. Lodge Brothers Legal Services, launched last week, offers fixed-fee services for clients wanting wills, probate and powers of attorney.
A sole practitioner who brought a “cataclysm” upon himself by failing to protect the interests of children when acting as a trustee, leading to them not receiving the legacies they should have done from two wills, has been struck off and ordered to pay £65,000 in costs. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal said Timothy John Wilkinson “blamed everyone else”.
Forget the John Lewis Christmas advert – lawyers have stepped up efforts to target the over-50s and the victims of medical accidents in the latest high-profile marketing pushes by QualitySolicitors and First4Lawyers respectively.
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.
A will-writer is planning to use his new alternative business structure (ABS) licence to expand into the conveyancing market, Legal Futures can report. Further, an IFA is planning a specialist multi-disciplinary ABS with a law firm focusing on the over-55s.
The satisfied probate client: face-to-face advice from a solicitor on a fixed fee, says major survey…
Consumers of probate and estate administration services are significantly more satisfied when they receive their advice face to face, rather than by e-mail, post or telephone, major research has found, while those on fixed fees pay a third less than those charged by the hour.
A regional firm of accountants is planning to become an alternative business structure (ABS). Becoming an ABS will allow Spofforths to improve the private client service currently provided by an in-house legal team and in time become a legal brand in its local market.
AIM-listed In-Deed has today become the first business to announce its explicit intention to invest in law firms. The company is looking for approaches from “successful and profitable provincial legal practices” to help make In-Deed a leading consumer legal brand.
The Insolvency Service last week presented petitions to wind up three will-writing businesses. The news comes as the Legal Services Board issues a call for evidence on whether to make will-writing, the entire probate process and estate administration reserved legal activities.
Some lawyers and financial advisers may be exploiting bereaved families by overcharging for probate, over-50s organisation Saga has suggested – pointing consumers to its own, cheaper, legal services arm instead. It says it will charge 1% of the estate, compared to up to 5% by other providers.