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Law Society welcomes call for regulation of will writing but recommends regulating probate activities too

The Law Society has released a statement welcoming the Legal Services Board's analysis of the will writing and estate administration industries.

The consultation focussed on three areas: will writing, probate activities and estate administration activities. Probate activities - which essentially refers only to preparing an oath and applying for probate - are already 'reserved activities' which only solicitors and other qualified lawyers may undertake, whereas will writing and estate administration can be undertaken by anyone, without any sort of qualification whatsoever. (More information of the difference: applying for probate and administering the estate).

The LSB has recommended that will writing now be added to the list of services that only solicitors may carry out - such as conveyancing - but estate adminsitration services remain unregulated.

The Law Society has welcomed the recommendation that will writing be overseen but believes that companies that wish to handle the proceeds of an estate should also be subject to a regulatory body. Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff is quoted as saying: "We welcome the recommendations to regulate will writing activities, however we remain concerned that there is no regulation or monitoring in place to ensure that adminiistrators do not misappropriate the estate's assets. We submitted evidence to the LSB of people who have been prosecuted for running off with estates."

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