Brokers warned against dodgy will writers

Sarah Davidson

August 10, 2010

The caution comes after a BBC Panorama programme broadcast last night revealed the pitfalls of using an unauthorised will writer.

Eddie Goldsmith, senior partner at Goldsmith Williams, said: “Many people assume that will writing firms are solicitors, which is not the case. Specialist will writers are unregulated, which can expose clients to unnecessary risks.

“The will writing services offered by solicitors, on the other hand, are governed by law and all solicitors are fully insured and covered by the solicitors‘ compensation fund, which protects consumers if a mistake is made. Solicitors are professionally trained and have a duty of care to all clients. Unfortunately, not all will writing firms uphold the same high standards, as the Panorama programme revealed last night.”

The law firm said that a professionally produced will should be an important cornerstone of all homeowners financial planning and that in most circumstances wills can be produced by a solicitor quickly and for a relatively modest cost.

Goldsmith added: “Wills encapsulate a person’s entire estate – home, savings and possessions – and it therefore makes little sense to cut corners and take risks in order to save a few pounds.

“When brokers refer clients to a will writer they need to ensure that the firm is not only professional and of good standing, but that it also offers clients adequate protection if anything does go wrong. The only way to be 100% sure is to recommend a legal firm.”

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