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Workshop on consumers experience of will-writing services

The LSB oversees the regulation, by Approved Regulators, of people authorised to undertake reserved legal activities. These activities include litigation, rights of audience, grant of probate and conveyancing for example, but exclude most legal advice such as that relating to employment disputes, mergers and acquisitions, administration of estates and will writing.

Most, but not all, of the Approved Regulators have rules that mean that an authorised person (such as a Solicitor or Barrister) is regulated even when carrying out legal activities that are not reserved to authorised persons. This means that a solicitor is regulated when carrying out will-writing activity but other types of advisor may not be.

The reason for this is that will-writing is not currently covered by the definition of a reserved legal activity, as set out by the Legal Services Act 2007.

Because of concerns expressed about will-writing, we have asked out Consumer Panel to carry out an investigation into the issue of whether a different regulatory approach to will writing is needed. We recently brought together the full range of stakeholders on this issue for a workshop designed to pool knowledge and identify the parameters of what the investigation should cover – shaping the formal commissioning for the Consumer Panel. This event began the process of collecting evidence and identifying sources.

Once we have the Consumer Panel’s findings, we will reach a view on whether a different regulatory approach to will-writing is needed – with the test being that it is found to be in consumers’ interests to do so.

Summary of workshop
Consumer Panel presentation
Office for Fair Trading presentation