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Consultation shows demand for will-writing regulation

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has announced the next steps in delivering greater protection to consumers of will-writing, probate and estate administration services in England and Wales.

In line with the outcome of public consultation on this issue, the LSB proposes to recommend to the Lord Chancellor that the list of “reserved activities” in the legal sector be amended to include will-writing and estate administration, as well as probate.

The LSB has concluded that:

  • will-writing and estate administration activities should be reserved, predominantly on consumer protection grounds,
  • that new regulation must be proportionate, risk based and flexible so as to enable a variety of different types of providers to continue to provide services, and
  • existing regulation should be improved and better targeted – which means that existing approved regulators and licensing authorities will need to be designated to regulate those newly reserved activities.

These conclusions follow detailed responses to the consultation launched in April this year and the results of earlier investigations.

The LSB will make recommendations to the Lord Chancellor early in 2013. The decision on whether or not to proceed with making will-writing, probate and estate administration “reserved activities” will be the Lord Chancellor's.

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