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Legal Service Commission to investigate the regulation of probate as well as Will writing services

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The Legal Services Commission has called for evidence from members of the public, legal businesses, other businesses active in the probate and estate administration markets and all other interested parties about how best to protect consumers. The call comes after the Legal Services Consumer panel reported back to the commission earlier this year about the inadequacies of the unregulated Will writing market.

Only certain activities are classed as ‘reserved’, meaning that only those regulated, for example solicitors, can carry them out on behalf of clients. The Commission stated “The Panel’s report did not review estate administration and probate activities. However, it did highlight the close association with will-writing and examples of consumer detriment. Therefore, our investigations will cover all three areas. Currently estate administration is not a reserved activity with the exception of preparing certain papers for submission to the Probate Registry.”

The Commission has identified key areas where inadequacies may be found. These include fraudulent activity linked to administering an estate, errors in the will document leading to difficulties with probate and administering the estate, service issues such as unnecessary delays, failure to keep beneficiaries informed of progress and providing deficient costs information, overcharging and/or tying in an expensive estate administration package at the time that the will is written and errors in the process of handling of a person’s estate after death.
The deadline for evidence is the 4th November 2011. Responses are intended to be published on the Commission’s website.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

September 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Comment, Compliance, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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