Every now and then we like to remind ourselves why certain rules and regulations exist, and a recent article published on the Third Sector website does just this by looking at the negative effects the practice of unregulated will writing can have on individuals and organisations alike.
It is obvious that the number of will writing services has increased significantly in recent years, with prices often much lower than those of their legal counterparts. Whilst some are legitimate and do offer value for money along with expert advice, there are some services that have garnered negative publicity.
In 2010 the Legal Services Board began a consultation on the regulation of will writing, with a number of organisations believing it should be. The Lord Chancellor, however, was of the opposite opinion. In 2014 it was found that tens of thousands of people had possibly bought defective wills with the use of such services. One of the key concerns of the Legal Ombudsman was that the individuals who paid for such wills rarely have insurance cover for if something goes wrong, meaning if anyone loses out on something due to a negligently written will have no means of recovering the loss.
The practice of unregulated will writing can also have an effect on charities, the article notes. Charitable organisations are often left legacies from wills, and a number of charities tend to base their annual income on the receipt of such legacies. If a will has been drafted incorrectly and is found to be invalid then this will of course have a negative impact.
So, charities at the very least should be supporting the decision to make all will writing regulated – do you support this decision as well?