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Where there's a will, there's way - beware Will Writers, warns Tallents Solicitors
For those people who have taken the effort to protect their loved ones and write a will, Frances Kelly, Head of Wills, Trust and Probate at Tallents Solicitors, is concerned that they may have chosen their will writer based on cost alone.
“This year we have seen a significant rise in the number of ‘will writers’ advertising their fix-priced services to clients.
“However, the first annual report released this year from the legal ombudsman highlighted that 13% of the complaints they had received involved will writing.
“Tallents have been meeting the legal needs of clients across Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire since 1774 and as a carefully regulated legal firm, this information concerns us greatly.”
In his report, Chief Ombudsman, Adam Sampson said:
“One service which crops up a lot is will writing. It is a service carried out often by will-writing firms who aren’t regulated. Because of this, customers are left with little means of redress when things go wrong.”
“We at Tallents are very pleased that the government has been called upon to take urgent action to make sure consumers are not left confused and vulnerable by unregulated companies.”
Both the consumer organisation Which? and the Law Society have also backed the ombudsman’s claims and called for more protection for consumers.
Des Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society for England and Wales said:
“It is also damaging to consumers because the unregulated providers are not insured, do not provide a compensation fund and are not covered by the legal ombudsman’s scheme for consumer redress.”
Richard Lloyd, Which? Executive Director, said:
“We want the government and regulators to wake up to the current lack of clarity and to provide a clear and straightforward route of redress for consumers.”
In July this year the Legal Service Board announced a statutory investigation into the will-writing market after they estimated 180,000 wills are written each year by unregulated firms. The Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel, Dr Dianne Hayter, said a will could have huge personal and financial consequences for families and proposed that will-writing should be made a reserved legal activity.
“Recently we have heard some horror stories about people who have been approached by will-writing companies who employ high-pressure selling techniques, offer to write wills for extremely low or fixed-prices, who recommend themselves to be appointed as executors or who sell other services without full-advice, such as transferring home ownership to avoid care fees.”
“You should always choose a professional to deal with your legal requirements. At Tallents, our solicitors and legal executives are regulated, have relevant qualifications, undertake continual professional development and training, and are fully insured.
“In addition, they will always take the time to guide clients through the will writing process and explore every option before making sure their final wishes will be carried out on their death. For peace of mind we always recommend using a regulated professional to write your will.”
For more information, contact Tallents on 01636 813411
Tallents Solicitors, 3 Middlegate, Newark
Established in 1774 and with offices in Newark, Mansfield and Southwell, Tallents Solicitors services the legal needs of private individuals, company and commercial clients and farmers in North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.
We still offer a personal service to our clients and our size and structure ensures that partners are never remote from our clients. We provide a full range of legal services and our expertise covers all areas of law including:
Agricultural law, criminal law, commercial and domestic property transactions, inheritance tax planning, trust and estate administration, wills and probate, commercial and general litigation, employment law, company and commercial law, intellectual property, matrimonial and family law, personal injury claims and children issues.
In 2009, Tallents celebrated 235 years, having served more than nine generations of North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire people. This makes Tallents one of the oldest law firms in the county and possibly the UK.
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