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Lost Opportunity to Reform Probate and Administration of Estates

View profile for Paul Hajek
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last will and testament

The least you would expect when a loved one has died is for their estate to be properly administered.

Worst case scenario: dodgy executors running off with money which should have gone to relatives, friends or charity.

Yet, the Legal Services Board (LSB) has recently rejected the opportunity to reform how Probate and Administration of Estates are regulated

Cowboy Will Writers and Executors

There has long been lobbying for better regulation of these legal services

At present, Will Writing, Probate and Administration of Estates are classed as unreserved activities. That means non Solicitors and Law Firms can carry out Will Writing and most  aspects of the process of administering estates.

Solicitors have always been highly regulated so that impropriety by solicitors has not led to beneficiaries being out of pocket, where fraud or negligence has been proved.

It is worth emphasising that where a law firm absconds with monies the victims are compensated from compulsory insurance which law firms must have in place before they are able to practice with a minimum of £2 milllion insured.

This is not the case with unregulated Will Writers and Probate practitioners, where there can be little or no redress available.

A Chance for Will Writing and Probate Reform

Legal Services have now been opened up to allow non law firms to undertake non reserved activities.

The LSB revisited the whole area of Will Writing and Administration of Estates.

The good news is that although the LSB recommended Will Writing now be included in the list of reserved activities, the bad news is that the LSB has decided against recommending administration of estates and preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorneys

LSB and Spurious Reasoning

The LSB’s argument that any wrong doing by a cowboy executor will be covered by criminal sanction for fraud is misguided

Yes, it’s true the miscreant would and should end up in gaol, but that does little to comfort the poor unfortunate beneficiary deprived of thousands and thousands of pounds for which there would be little hope of recovery.

Lack of Consumer Protection Against Fraud

We may end up with the worst of both worlds

Consumers need protection from themselves. Consumers need clarity.

There is a risk is of a two tier market place: consumers may think they are protected but may actually be at the mercy of fraudsters.

Wills, Powers of Attorneys, Probate and Peace of Mind

Why bother taking such risks when you can have your Wills and Estates fully protected by using a firm of solicitors.

You will be pleased to know that at Clutton Cox you can have your Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and your Estate Administered effectively, with a minimum of fuss, complete peace of mind and exceptional value for money.

For a free consultation click below.Contact Hilary McIlveen by using the button below for free initial consultation.

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Paul Hajek