Welwyn Garden City law firm calling for tighter will regulations
A LAW firm is calling for tighter will-writing regulations after an investigation found consumers were being duped of thousands of pounds to charlatans.
Ewart Price Solicitors, in Church Road, WGC, is backing plans to tackle the crisis of unregulated will-writing firms – exposed on the BBC’s Panorama programme on Monday last week.
The show claimed some consumers were initially given will-writing fees of �75 to �100, which then escalated with hidden costs totalling thousands of pounds.
Some beneficiaries even had payouts stolen.
As a result, the Legal Services Board (LSB), which oversees all legal services in England and Wales, has said it will examine “whether a different regulatory approach to will-writing is needed”.
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Mike Bottomley, partner at Ewart Price Solicitors, formed in 1983, said: “In the past, people either wrote their own wills or sought professional help from a solicitor.
“Now, more and more people (about 10 per cent) are choosing to use will-writing companies to produce their will on their behalf.”
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But Mr Bottomley stressed: “The will-writing firms have no regulation by law and have no indemnity scheme to fall back on should anything go wrong.
“In many cases, people end up paying much more that the amount they were initially quoted.”
He added: “Like all firms of solicitors, we are fully insured and, in the worst case situation, ultimately have the back-up of the solicitors’ compensation fund to cover our clients.
“We also have many years of experience and on-going training, and run the risk of being struck off if we did not behave completely professionally.”
? Ewart Price Solicitors is offering Welwyn Hatfield Times readers a free 15-minute appointment to review any existing will they already have.
Call Mr Bottomley on 01707 332383 and mention this article to arrange your appointment.