Knock Knock: Who’s There? Will Writer- Is This Some Kind of Bad Joke?

Paul Hajek | 19 Jul 2013


knock knock beware Will WriterIgnorance is rarely bliss.

Especially, when you get an unsolicited and unregulated Will Writer knocking on your door.

In my trawl of useful information for you this week, Dear Reader, I came across a story of an unfortunate couple who opened their door to an unregulated and unscrupulous so called Will Writer.

It ended up in a final Bill for £3200 !! That’s an incredible 16 times the normal rate you would be charged by expert Wills and Probate Solicitors such as Clutton Cox.

The Will Writer Scam

The unregulated Will Writer is of course no more than an undignified door to door salesman.

No doubt, sharp of tongue and beguiling but really why take the risk?

The scam centred on the ability to have unlimited updates to their Wills over the 5 year period.

The unfortunate couple were somehow persuaded to part with an up front fee of £150 and then incredulously a further 60 monthly payments of £51.35 i.e. a stunning total of £3231.

Wills and Probate Solicitors would always recommend reviewing your Will every few years.  No clients of ours see the need to change their Wills on a yearly basis.

What Happens If Your Will Is Badly Drawn Up?

If you have a problem with your Will and the Will Writer has gone bust then you have no legal remedy.

If you have a problem with a Will prepared by your Solicitor then you have the benefit of a sturdy insurance policy up to £2,000,000.

On most occasions you will not find out there has been a problem with your Will until after your death. You may feel that it will thankfully be of no concern to you.

But, just consider the possible impact on your loved ones who are left to pick up the (expensive) pieces.

Reform of Unregulated Cowboy Will Writers

There have been many calls for tighter regulation of unregulated Will Writers to protect consumers.

The Legal Services Board recently recommended that Wills be a so called “reserved activity” so that only regulated suppliers such as Solicitors are allowed to draw up Wills.

Unfortunately, the Government in its infinite wisdom, last year decided against regulating Will writing on the basis that sufficient safeguards were in place. Where those safeguards would be where an unregulated Will Writer went bust was not touché don by the Government.

What This Means For You

It goes without saying that you should resist any temptation to listen to a door to door salesman talking to you about your Wills.

It would also be advisable to resist the temptation to let anyone other than a Solicitor into your home to discuss your Wills.

I know of a couple who recently paid a Will Writing Company £1000 for relatively straight forward Wills. They were shocked when I told them they had overpaid significantly.

It pays to do research into the cost of Wills and to find out about “ancillary” services.

Before committing yourself to paying anything, ring a local firm of Wills and Probate Solicitors and ask them how much they would charge.

So confident are we that we will be much better value than a Will Writing company – we want you to put us to the test.

Don’t turn making you Will in to a bad joke.

Paul Hajek

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