Just Wills and Legal Services – Regulation of Estate Planning
The Unregulated Estate Planning Industry: Just Wills and Legal Services’ Commitment to Excellence
When it comes to estate planning, where individuals prepare for the inevitable and safeguard the interests of their loved ones, one might assume there’s a high level of regulation to ensure the utmost professionalism and competence, similar to financial advice. However, it may come as a surprise to many that the estate planning industry in the UK is largely unregulated. In this blog, we will explore the state of the estate planning industry, the call for stronger regulation, and how Just Wills and Legal Services is setting a benchmark for quality and trustworthiness in this unregulated landscape.
The Unregulated Nature of Estate Planning
Back in 2013, the then Lord Chancellor – Chris Grayling refused the need for change when it came to regulation in the estate planning (and specifically Will Writing) sector. Whilst many expected it, and lots left the profession in light of the expectation of stronger regulation, the decision was made NOT to regulate. Although the services provided are essential, the lack of regulation meant that anyone could write a Will or set up an estate planning business without the need for rigorous checks, qualifications, or adherence to industry standards. This raised concerns about the quality and integrity of the services offered in an industry that deals with life-changing events and decisions.
The Call for Stronger Regulation
The Lord Chancellor’s concern about the unregulated nature of estate planning were evident when he called for the need for stronger self-regulation in the absence of statutory regulation. This call was a response to the growing need for transparency, reliability, and consumer protection. It was a recognition that the problem was disproportionate to the need for statutory regulation.
Just Wills and Legal Services: Leading the Way in Self-Regulation
In response to this industry-wide concern, Just Wills and Legal Services has been proactive in upholding the highest standards. We have long been a member of the Society of Will Writers, a self-regulatory body that governs the estate planning sector and provides a framework of self-regulation for estate planners to adhere to.
Our commitment to self-regulation goes hand-in-hand with our dedication to continuous professional development (CPD) for our consultants. CPD ensures that our team stays up-to-date with the latest legal developments and best practices, guaranteeing that our clients receive the most accurate and reliable advice.
Putting Clients’ Interests First
When we undertake reserved legal activities, such as probate applications or trust work, it is always carried out by an appropriately qualified and regulated professional. This is part of our unwavering commitment to safeguarding the interests of our clients and adherence to the law.
We believe that every individual’s situation is unique, and therefore, their estate planning should reflect this individuality. Our consultants work closely with our clients to ensure that their documents are tailored to their specific needs, providing peace of mind that their wishes will be carried out effectively.
Cooperation with CMA’s Investigation
Earlier this year Just Wills and Legal Services warmly welcomed the news that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was investigating estate planning. We are fully committed to cooperating with any questions and findings that may arise from this investigation. Sarah Cardell, Chief Executive of the CMA, aptly pointed out the significance of these services, often required during the most challenging times in people’s lives.
“These services are essential to people, often at the most challenging times in their lives. The CMA is aware that rising living costs mean people are watching their spending, so shopping around for a more affordable option is attractive and sometimes a necessity.”
Ensuring a Fair Deal for All
Because Will writing is an unregulated profession, anyone can write a Will or set up an estate planning business. At Just Wills and Legal Services, our aim is to ensure that anyone who chooses to partner with us receives documents tailored to their individual needs and not a ‘template Will’ provided by a ‘fly-by-night’ outfit with no insurance.
We invite those who seek an experienced and long-lasting firm to support them in their estate planning journey to consider Just Wills and Legal Services. With over 150,000 Wills drafted over the years, comprehensive insurance coverage, and a team of consultants who are members of the Society of Will Writers and adequately trained, we stand as a symbol of trustworthiness and reliability in an otherwise unregulated industry.
Your peace of mind is our priority, and we are dedicated to helping you make the right decisions for your estate planning needs with confidence and clarity.
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