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The competition watchdog targets Will writers

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The Competition and Markets Authority has made it clear that it will take action against companies that offer Will-writing, divorce, and probate services while breaking consumer protection laws.

The CMA stated in announcing a consumer enforcement probe in these sectors that it is "all the more important that normal consumer protection laws are complied with and, if necessary, enforced" for unregulated legal services.

Writing a Will, purchasing a probate plan, and getting a divorce online are the three primary "areas of concern."

Concerns with Will-writing include possibly discriminatory contract provisions and deceptive fee advertising. The CMA, which is worried that elderly and vulnerable people are being persuaded into purchasing unnecessary or subpar arrangements, described pre-paid probate plans as a recent growth in the market. False claims concerning the cost and ease of the divorce procedure, as well as poor service quality, are issues with online divorce services.

People are looking about for more cheap solutions, according to chief executive officer Sarah Cardell. “Although they may not be frequently purchased items, these can change your life. That is why it is crucial that we conduct our research so that individuals can confidently choose the best legal service for them, whether it be for a divorce, probate, or the writing of a Will. Companies must get the fundamentals right, which includes abiding by the broad consumer law that governs all merchants. Customers must receive a fair bargain”, according to Cardell. 

The CMA will write to an undefined number of businesses to learn more about their policies in preparation for its investigation. By the 4th September, interested parties are also encouraged to email the CMA.

Ten years have passed since Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling turned down the Legal Services Board's request for Will-writing to be classified as a reserved activity.

At Smooth Commercial Law we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. If you require assistance with drafting a Will or preparing a Power of Attorney, our team of expert Solicitors will help you navigate the process. We will ensure that your interests and those of your loved ones are protected for the future.

Find out more; Wills, Trust and Estate Planning - Smooth Commercial Law (