Hundreds of thousands could have defective wills warns Black Country law experts
Huge numbers of wills may have been drawn up incorrectly leaving problems for families throughout the country, warn law experts.
Dawn Cash, of Waldrons Solicitors, said many cheap wills purchased via the web in the last decade or so could be defective, causing court battles and huge financial loss for many family members.
“It’s a huge worry that really needs bringing to the public’s attention,” said Mrs Cash, of Waldrons, which has its headquarters at Merry Hill and other offices elsewhere across the region.
“It’s really in the past decade or so that many people have made internet wills, which are far too simplistic for the needs of many and this could affect many hundreds of thousands of people, who really need to take action,” she added.
Mrs Cash said she believed the Government’s decision not to make will-writing a reserved legal activity for qualified legal experts in 2013 could be a huge mistake.
“The Legal Services Board in England and Wales carried out a two year long investigation and their conclusion was will writing should treated as a specialist legal occupation only open to solicitors, but the Lord Chancellor decided against this,” she said.
“This area of law can often be technically challenging yet anyone can claim to be a qualified will writer as there is no real qualification process,” she said.
She added that the vast majority of online will services follow a simple template that doesn’t take into account the complexities of modern family structures.
“We live in a society now where many people don’t have the same kind of home-life they did a generation ago, and online wills and self-completion wills may in many cases be totally inadequate,” she added.
She said anyone concerned should seek legal advice from a law firm.
“It is really sad and frustrating to see the utter turmoil that a poorly drafted will can cause,” she added. “Families can be torn to pieces and some people can never move on as they feel they have had been unjustly treated.”
“We urge everyone to take note and take action because the pubic clearly needs protection.”
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