Mind at Rest Wills – Response To Lord Chancellors Will Writing Activities Regulatory Decision
On the 14 / 05 / 2013 The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling MP. Issued a response to the Legal Service Boards final report issued on 13 / 02 / 2013. An article on the FT adviser website explains more about the decision click here to read. The Lord Chancellor has decided against regulating Will Writing activities. The Lord Chancellor believes that voluntary codes and consumer education could resolve the issues referred to in the Legal service Boards report.
Our response to this decision is as follows:-
Whilst we are slightly surprised with the Lord Chancellors decision, as we fully expected our industry to be regulated and still believe that this will indeed happen in the future. It is possible that Mr Grayling was taking into consideration the additional regulation related costs involved for companies such as ourselves and that he may be concerned that to some degree the additional costs involved would have to be passed on to our clients.
Whilst the decision does mean that Mind at Rest Wills are not currently required to be a member of a regulatory body. In light of the fact that we expected regulation would be put in place, we have already put procedures in place to ensure we would be ready for regulation.
These procedures include but are not limited to, providing our clients with :-
1) Terms of business.
2) Right to Cancel (7 day cooling off period).
3) A full receipt for services purchased.
4) Fact sheets and Technical sheets to ensure that our clients are educated about Wills and Estate Planning.
5) Provision of Draft Wills for checking purposes prior to issue of Final Fully Legal Will & Trust Documentation.
6) Professional indemnity insurance, covering potential liability to clients up-to £2,500,000
7) A complaints procedure.
We therefore believe we are already compliant with voluntary codes with the service that we provide.
We will continue to work with our compliance, training and indemnity partners “The Right Will” along with our legal partners, who are STEP authorised practitioners, to ensure that the recommendations and advice we give is suited to each individual client. Our company owner Jason Cherrington said “We always put customer service first and this will continue to be the case, every one of our clients circumstances are different, we will continue to provide a free initial consultation to prospective clients so that they have the opportunity to gather information on a no obligation basis and then make an informed decision”
In the absence of regulation we will continue to offer our services to our clients providing a high quality of service standards with every case. we will also continue with our training and compliance monitoring so that we will always be ready for regulation if and when it finally arrives.
Guardian Online – Why a Lasting Power of Attorney is not just for the elderly
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) gives another individual the legal authority to make financial or health and welfare decisions on your behalf should you lose the capacity to do so. It’s not just for the elderly; younger people may become incapacitated through accident or illness.
Without an LPA in place, relatives may face long delays and expenses in applying to the court of protection to get access and take control of your assets and finances.
There are two types of LPA: one that can cover decisions about money matters, known as a property and financial affairs LPA, and one that can cover decisions about healthcare, known as a personal welfare LPA.
A person administering a property and financial affairs LPA can make decision on things such as buying and selling your property, dealing with your bills, running your bank accounts and investing your money. If they have a personal welfare LPA, they can generally make decisions about where you should live, how you should be treated medically, what you should eat and who you should have contact with.
You may choose anyone you trust as your attorney, provided they are over 18, not bankrupt and they are willing to take on the role, which is a serious responsibility. It is their duty to make all decisions in your best interests and they must follow certain principles set out in the Mental Capacity Act aimed at making sure you are encouraged to make your own decisions where possible. As a donor, you can restrict or specify the types of decisions the attorney can make, or you can allow them to make all decisions on your behalf.
So should you do it yourself or seek advice? Lucy Malenczuk, policy adviser on financial services for Age UK, says: “We would encourage people to read through the forms and guidance first and, if they want to set up something fairly simple and feel confident about their decisions and filling out the forms, then they don’t have to have legal advice. But it’s important to remember that an LPA is a serious, powerful document so, if in doubt, they may want to take legal advice.”
Julia Abrey, head of elder law at law firm Withers, agrees that people who want to set up a straightforward LPA can do it themselves, although for something more complex, she recommends seeking advice.
“Suppose you want to put in particular restrictions on what the attorney can do,” she says. “This can be quite complicated to draft correctly and the risk is (if it is drafted incorrectly) the Office of the Public Guardian may sever a restriction or, in extreme cases, render the power of attorney invalid.”
Natalie Walker, head of wills at Co-operative Legal Services, says that, without legal advice, there is the danger of making errors of judgment in drafting the form that can make life unintentionally difficult for your attorneys in the future, or which can cause the OPG to reject it.