A recent story, which made national headlines of a pensioner who called in the Police after she was charged £6,000 by Will writers, provides further damning evidence of the danger of using unregulated Will writers.
We at QualitySolicitors believe Will preparation should only be in the hands of experienced solicitors
Police are looking into this case, with the firm denying any wrong-doing, but regardless of the legal story yet to fully unfold, it is a sad tale leaving two very elderly housebound people, aged 90 and 87 in great distress.
The lady in question, Muriel Sutton has accused the firm of taking the money without her or her husband Jim’s permission or knowledge, whilst the company say they have signed paperwork from both of them covering the work.
According to reports, which was featured in the Bristol Post the couple were visited by a representative of the Will writers in November last year.
Mrs Sutton told journalists they discussed the prospect of drawing up a new Will and trust fund for her only son, Peter, 60, who suffers from autism and added that the man also offered to run errands for the couple, including doing their shopping.
The couple say they do not believe they ever agreed or signed anything and were under no obligation to accept their services, but were shocked to discover two payments of £3,000 each had been taken out of her account by the company on November 19.
Mrs Sutton told her local newspaper: "I just feel completely foolish and a bit naive. I feel like I have also let down my son as that money was for his future.”
She added that she recalls her bank card being out at some stage, but had no documents about it, and also added she already had a Will drawn up by her solicitor.
It’s all very messy with the founder of the Will writing company saying the couple had 14 days to cancel.
Here at QualitySolicitors, whilst finding this story sad, we are not completely surprised.
It may, of course, be a case of confusion, but this can happen when not dealing with a trusted law firm who has been part of the community for many years.
Unfortunately though, the Suttons and many like them aren’t helped by the Government, which has in recent years turned down a chance to allow the regulation of Will writing.
This means it is the job of trustworthy law firms and experienced solicitors to educate the public about the consequences of poorly drawn Wills.
A solicitor brings the peace of mind of an unrivalled regulatory and compensation system to put right any errors on the very rare occasions these happen.
We hope the good people of the Wirral will take note.
If you would like advice on writing or updating your Will, please get in touch with us at our New Brighton office or call us on 0151 639 9595.