CompaniesMay 15 2013

Government rejects regulation of will writing

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The government has rejected advice from the Legal Services Board to make will writing a regulated activity, which could be good news for advisers that may have been disenfranchised under any new rules.

Earlier this year, the LSB recommended that will writing become a regulated activity to protect consumers and increase competition in the market.

Some IFAs who conduct will-writing business warned FTAdviser that regulating the activity could effectively strip advisers of the power to write wills and ultimately increase costs to clients.

However, the government yesterday confirmed they would not take that course of action.

Desmond Hudson, chief executive of the Law Society, said: “Consumers have been let down by this deeply disappointing decision. We provided plenty of evidence to the LSB, demonstrating that consumers are at real risk from certain unregulated will writers who can be incompetent, untrained and uninsured.

“Thanks to the government’s decision... unregulated providers can carry on writing wholly unsuitable wills, leaving consumers without any recourse when things go wrong as a result.”

If the government had accepted the LSB’s recommendations, consumers would have access to the Legal Ombudsman.