Unregulated will writing and probate services investigated by CMA

This article was published on: 07/23/23

Unregulated will writing and probate services investigated by CMA

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a new investigation to protect consumers following complaints about unregulated legal services being provided in the UK.

Alternative providers for unregulated services including will-writing, online divorce, and probate services may not be compliant with consumer protection law.

These providers are not required to follow regulations like conventional legal firms, which can pose a risk to consumers, including unexpected costs, coercion of vulnerable customers, or paperwork being mishandled or improperly drafted. Plus, they may advertise their services as cheaper and easier than solicitors can provide, because they don’t follow vital regulations to protect consumers.

When customers use unregulated firms for their will or probate, they are putting themselves and their families at risk of unintended stress and financial burden. Although anyone can legally write a will because it is legally an unregulated service, it’s vital to choose a solicitors firm that follows legal  guidelines and strict ethics to safeguard your family and finances.

The CMA investigation has outlined the following concerns about unregulated will writing and probate providers:

  • potentially unfair contracts, which could result in failure to provide cancellation rights and extra fees for automatically appointing the firm as an executor
  • misleading advertising that results in unexpected costs for wills or probate
  • pressure selling techniques being used on vulnerable people or the elderly
  • money in probate not being protected properly
  • lack of transparency about costs
  • probate plans that fail to serve their purpose or are unnecessary, which could result in delays or bereaved relatives being unable to sell property or settle bills
  • documents being lost

Wills and probate are vital tools for handling circumstances when a relative passes, and without regulation, ethical providers, and clear guidelines, companies can scam consumers in one of the most stressful situations in life.

Choose a solicitor for wills and probate who is accredited by regulatory bodies like the Law Society, which regularly audits firms to ensure they are meeting the highest of standards.

Scott Rees and Co are fully accredited with the Law Society and regulated by the Solicitors Regulations Authority, and are also 100% transparent with our prices to provide a professional, straightforward service for wills and probate. 

Contact us today for a free initial enquiry for will-writing or probate services.