Plans to protect charitable legacies

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has this week revealed proposals to develop regulations for the Will writing industry, on the back of findings which give examples of how poor advice has negatively affected many charitable legacies.
Around one third of the charities interviewed had been affected by a poorly drafted Will. Over ten percent had not received a legacy initially due to them, over one third finally received a reduced legacy and almost half had experienced undue delays, with more again having to pay for legal costs to receive anything at all.
With recent government legislation indicating that less Inheritance Tax will be paid on Estates which leave a legacy to charity, it is vital that steps are taken to ensure that those preparing a Will receive the best and most accurate advice.
Views on possible steps for regulation are being accepted until 16 July. What would you suggest? A regulated industry body? Strict legal criteria on who can provide this service? With cases being reported weekly of fraudulent probate solicitors and those offering poor advice, it seems that the suggestion to restrict probate services to law firms is extremely short sighted and dangerous, no doubt leading to higher fees and potentially a drop in the standard of specialist advice being provided.


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