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The costly ramifications of unregulated will writing

View profile for Katie Hayden
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A recent study by the Wills and Probate Consumer Research Report 2018 found that clients are often being misled with regards to fees by providers in the unregulated sector. 80% of those who made a will using a will writer or other provider in the unregulated sector were quoted a fixed fee, and out of those who did, only two thirds actually ended up paying the fee quoted at the outset when the work was completed.

Will writers’ prices often undercut solicitor firms as they aim to entice business by offering various discounts, only to hit clients later on with large fees. The cost of updating a will can vary significantly and it can be tempting to go for the cheapest option. However, due to the unregulated nature of will writers, consumers are often left with little means of redress when things go wrong, and face being overcharged because those in the unregulated sector are not subject to the same professional procedures. The level of expertise and protection afforded by using a solicitor far outweighs these risks and therefore, my advice is to be very cautious of such companies. There is no ‘watchdog’ to keep those in the unregulated sector in check as there is for solicitors with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

If you have any concerns, or would like to discuss making or amending a will, then please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists in the Wills, Trusts and Probate team. I am based in our Chelmsford office and can be contacted on 01245 453837 or katie.hayden@birkettlong.co.uk.

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