Coodes welcomes wills move

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A Cornwall-based solicitor has welcomed proposals to regulate will-writing services across England and Wales.

Currently, it is possible for anyone to set up a will-writing service without professional training, regulation or insurance.

Yesterday, the Legal Services Board published a report in which it identified poor standards in will drafting, particularly among will drafters who are not legally qualified and announced proposals to ensure the will-writing industry is regulated and standards improved.

Colin Hunter, partner at Coodes Solicitors in St Austell and dispute resolution specialist, has seen a rise in cases involving poorly drawn wills.

He said: “I have been hoping for this move towards regulation for some time. Drawing up wills is a specialist, technical exercise. It is a very important process since it is designed to ensure that an individual’s wishes are properly recorded and implemented after they die.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of cases where will makers have prepared wills that are defective and unworkable. This often results in a dispute after death, or the need to correct the problem created by the will maker. This can be a very expensive exercise.”

In announcing the proposals yesterday, chairman of the Legal Services Board, David Edmonds, said: “We found too many examples of will-writers not listening to their clients or being sloppy in their work – meaning those taking the important step of writing a will were also, unfortunately, leaving problems to their beneficiaries.”