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Ex-Pats should seek out qualified solicitors for wills

18th October 2012

The LSB wants unregulated estate planning advisors, such as banks, independent financial advisors and a number of financial institutions, including those under the banner of supermarket chains, to be prevented from carrying out this sometimes complex work, as many interested parties, including will writing solicitors, feel that certain individuals will not receive the expert advice they need.

Ex-pats are one group which requires specialist advice to arrange their affairs as rules on domicile and residency can be complicated for those who have moved abroad to live.

Lawyers are concerned that the ease of obtaining advice, through websites and from large corporations, may entice individuals to arrange important issues such as Inheritance Tax planning and trusts under the guidance of advisors who do not have the specific knowledge to do so. It is also widely feared that ex-pats may be being charged fee levels which do not actually reflect the work undertaken to arrange their affairs.

Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, said, “We are pleased that the LSB shares our concerns regarding consumer protection in this area. We urge the LSB and government to proceed swiftly to ensure that in will writing, estate administration and probate, consumers are protected from bad advice and untrained providers.”

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