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The regulation of will writers campaign

Posted: 13 March 2015

Due to growing concern on the absence of regulation for will writing, the Law Society launched a lengthy campaign calling on the government to make will writing a reserved activity.

Following numerous consultations, on 13 February 2013 the Legal Services Board (LSB) recommended to the lord chancellor that will writing should become a reserved activity. Unfortunately, on 14 May 2013, the lord chancellor decided to reject the LSB's recommendations. 

The Law Society was extremely disappointed with the government's decision not to regulate will writers.

Will writing still remains an unreserved activity.

The campaign has now concluded, and this page provides a summary of the action taken by the Law Society and of the government decisions.

We continue to support our members by highlighting to consumers the benefits of using a qualified and regulated solicitor rather than an unregulated will writer.

Timeline

September 2010

December 2010

  • The Law Society responds to the Consumer Panel's call for evidence for its investigation into will writing. Read our response

January 2011

July 2011

  • IFF Research releases its independent research report Understanding the consumer experience of will-writing services, as commissioned by the LSB, the Consumer Panel, the Office of Fair Trading and the SRA. Read the report
  • The Consumer Panel issues its report on regulating will-writing to the LSB. Read the report
  • The LSB launches investigations to decide whether the list of reserved activities should be amended to include will writing and estate administration activities. Read the LSB press release

October 2011

  • The LSB issues a call for evidence on an investigation into will writing, probate and estate administration. Read more

November 2011

  • The Law Society responds to the LSB's call for evidence for its investigation into will writing, probate and estate administration. Read our response

March 2012

  • The Consumer Panel issues its report on probate and estate administration, calling for these services to be regulated and made reserved activities. Read the full report

April 2012

July 2012

  • The Law Society response to the initial LSB consultation on will writing, probate and estate administration activities. Read our response

September 2012

November 2012

January 2013

  • The Law Society makes a submission to the LSB calling for estate administration services, along with will-writing, to become a regulated activities.

February 2013

  • The LSB publishes its final report: Sections 24 and 26 investigations: will writing, estate administration and probate activities. In the report the LSB recommended that the Lord Chancellor make will writing activities a reserved legal activities. Read the full report
  • The LSB publishes its summary of feedback on its second consultation and its response. Read the summary and LSB response

May 2013

  • The lord chancellor decided to reject the recommendations of the LSB to make will writing a reserved activity. Read the Decision Notice

Further information

Campaign manifesto

Our Regulation of Will Writing campaign booklet set out our key concerns about the damage unregulated will writers can cause and the arguments we made for making will writing a reserved activity. It includes the key findings from our survey and call for evidence, and also set our proposals for reform.

News stories


 

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