This month, our Managing Director, Paul Saunders was pleased to attend the latest Today’s Thought Focus Roundtable, hosted by national industry news publication, Today’s Wills & Probate.
Not only was he among a small group of other experts within the profession, Paul was also joined by the Law Commission and given exclusive opportunity to discuss the latest wills consultation.
This pivotal Law Commission consultation was launched in July 2017 and closed on 10th November. Its aim was to seek professional and consumer views on reforming will writing laws, particularly surrounding bringing the processes up to date within modern society.
Key proposals within the consultation include:
- • Supporting testamentary freedom, including the modernisation of will writing
- • Protecting testators
- • Clarity and certainty of the laws
Paul was honoured to be a part of the exclusive Q&A session with the Law Commission. All attendees were able to freely ask anything regarding the latest wills consultation and plans within the Commission for the foreseeable future. Paul, along with the other attendees asked some very insightful questions and shared his views on what the proposals could mean for the profession.
At Legal Eye, we believe that modernising the will writing process is a step in the right direction, particularly from a consumer perspective. Whilst they may be aware of the consequences of not having one, the majority of UK adults still don’t have a will, so any way of encouraging consumers to consolidate their final wishes is surely a good thing on both an individual and general societal level. However, if the Law Commission proposals do come into effect, it’s essential that professionals ensure that they have the necessary processes in place. Without the right safeguards, practitioners could be at risk from claims against the wills they’ve written on behalf of consumers, potentially leading to reputational as well as professional damage.
Professor Nick Hopkins from the Law Commission commented: “This roundtable event, bringing together a diverse group of those involved in the writing of wills, will be very helpful for us in ensuring that our proposals for reform are grounded in the experience of those making a will and engage with real-life concerns.”
Paul Saunders said “We will continue to keep in close contact with the Law Commission, so that our firms are kept up-to-date with their recommendations, and can plan for any changes to legislation in advance.”
177 responses have been received to the Consultation – a healthy number considering the technicalities involved in the proposals.
The Commission will be analysing the responses in coming months and will collate them into a report. They are hoping to release the official report by the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]