Whilst we agree with the views expressed in this week’s Panorama programme, that a Will is one of the most important documents a person will ever write,its focus on problems experienced by a handful of people who had asked will writers to handle their probate matters masked the real issues people should be addressing.
David Dexter, an Associate of Collective Legal Solutions and a member of the Society of Will Writers said’ ‘As with most documentaries of this type the programme sought to suggest there is a major problem within the Will Writing industry by show casing half a dozen cases(actually concerning probate administration rather than will writing)only one of which was proven to be a fraudulent case’.
‘We work in an unregulated market not through choice but because successive governments have deemed it unnecessary to bring in regulation. However Collective Legal Solutions wholeheartedly support regulation and have established it’s business principle’s around a framework which makes for smooth transition into regulation.
The Society of Will Writers is supporting and working with the Legal Services Board in England to regulate bor at least licence will writers and is pressing for tighter regulation of probate and client funds.
The simple truth is that no amount of legislation will eliminate fraudulent behaviour in any industry. One of the Will Writers featured in the programme on Monday was ,as the Panorama reporter admitted,a struck off solicitor. The legal industry is clearly not immune to the type of issue highlighted in the programme.
What should have been highlighted was the need for consumers to ask the person dealing with them as to their experience, qualifications, insurance cover and membership of a professional organisation.
In any industry there will be the occasional bad apple but this should not cloud the key issue which, as Panorama itself highlighted at the opening, is that a Will is a vitally important document which is best handled by a professional whose skills are dedicated to will writing.