The Legal Services Board has announced proposals in April to deliver greater protection to consumers of the legal services of will-writing and estate administration. These would see the services brought within the scope of legal services regulation, regardless of who provides them.
The decision on whether or not to regulate will-writing and estate administration services has long been debated. In line with its statutory responsibilities, the LSB has reviewed all of the available evidence about the problems suffered by some consumers in these areas, and conducted original research, to identify what the risks to consumers are and why they emerge.
The LSB‟s investigations found systemic problems with the services delivered by many different types of provider. We found consistent patterns of sloppiness, simple errors and poor communication. This often resulted in an unacceptable service. Too often consumers were subjected to unfair sales practices. There have also been well- documented examples of fraud and deception.
The proposals would, for the first time, see all providers of these services regulated and brought within the list of „reserved activities‟. This means that:
- everyone who provides services in these areas will be regulated; a variety of different types of providers will continue to be allowed to operate; and the regulation of those already providing regulated advice will be improved.