Will Writing Companies Dangers and Pitfalls

Have you or a member of your family been approached by a will writing company?

A cold call over the telephone or at your door?

Somebody recommended through your bank or building society?

Time and again we are consulted by individuals or couples who have come into contact with such organisations. The documents produced are usually beautifully bound, presented in an attractive folder and run to many pages.

Sadly, more often than not the paperwork is either inadequate, serves no purpose at all or, occasionally, does more harm than good. Usually two thirds of the text within the documents is unnecessary, confusing and, in our view, designed to expand the bundle of papers to make it look like value for money. These “packages” are frequently sold to couples in retirement who have a house and/or savings that they wish to protect.

We regularly take instructions from people living locally who have engaged a will writing company many hundreds of miles away and, sometimes, everything has been dealt with by post or over the telephone. The risks for the client are significant.

Many will writers are not regulated by any form of professional body.

If mistakes are made, they may not have adequate insurance to protect you.

The agents sometimes appoint themselves as executors or trustees unnecessarily.

Occasionally the company ceases trading, trustees cannot be found and investments are “trapped”.

Increasingly, over the last five or more years, we have been faced with distraught couples or widows /widowers who have been reassured by the will writer that everything is in order, only to discover, once the documents have been examined by one of our lawyers, that basic errors have been made. The will writing companies routinely charge thousands of pounds to carry out work which, in most cases, is either completely unnecessary or incorrect. Most clients that we look after in these circumstances tell us that they were never given a proper explanation about anything, but trusted the people involved. Sadly, in many cases, that trust has been betrayed.

At Kidd & Spoor we have a team of expert lawyers dealing with wills, trusts, powers of attorney, retirement planning and everything connected with later life. You will meet a real person. We will explain clearly what our recommendations are in your circumstances. It is never a case of “one size fits all” as a lot of will writers assume.

It will cost you nothing for an initial consultation. If you have any concerns about your position, or that of any member of your family, bring the documents in, and see one of our solicitors. It will not take long for us to figure out whether your position is secure. We will provide honest, clear advice and can recommend any changes that suit your circumstances.

We have looked after families since 1870, and will continue doing so for many more years.