Ombudsman Report Raises Concerns Over Consumer Protection
Experts at Irwin Mitchell have urged people who are looking to write a Will to always seek expert advice from regulated and reputable firms, following concerns raised in the first report by the Legal Ombudsman.
In the publication, chief legal ombudsman Adam Sampson has issued a warning that many consumers may be unknowingly putting themselves at risk by using unregulated Will-writing companies to plan for the future.
He added that this leaves people with little protection if there is a problem with the service, as such firms cannot be held to account over what they provide.
The calls have been welcomed by the Law Society and consumer group Which?, with the latter claiming it has seen a number of examples of poor practice and a lack of a clarity in relation to such services.
Will specialists at leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell have joined the organisations in welcoming the report.
Gillian Coverley, a Partner in the firm’s Wills, Trust and Probate Department, said: “When it comes to advice on any legal issue, it is vital that consumers are given fully regulated and clear advice which will help to make an informed decision and also give them the necessary protection.
“Planning for the future with a Will is a hugely important part of many people’s lives, ensuring that they are able to clearly and concisely outline their wishes and how they would like their estate to be administered when they have passed away.
“Consumers need to be completely aware of where they stand and it is a concern that this does not appear to be the case – especially considering the dangers that a lack of protection could potentially have.
“Problems clearly do exist in this area and, while we would always urge people to seek advice from a reputable provider of such services, it is obvious the government needs to rethink how it approaches this and clear up any confusion around this incredibly important issue.”