Bad will writing has been going on for too long and tighter regulation and monitoring is needed to protect the industry, safeguarding legacy fundraising. The sad truth is that there are a lot of scumbags out there conning people into writing unsuitable wills. I’ve even heard of some dodgy firms that use out-of-work actors to go door-to-door and bring in clients. This leads to a situation where the will-writer has never met the client and unsurprisingly the end result is less than likely to convey the true wishes of that individual.
Without a well written will by a truly knowledgeable expert, charities don’t stand a chance in retaining and building legacy income levels – the largest single source of voluntary income to the sector. Of course, the Charity Commission does provide helpful guidelines, recommending that people use firms accredited by the Institute of Professional Willwriters, but the will-writing industry has proved notoriously hard to regulate completely.
Just last week, industry regulator the Legal Services Board announced proposals to deliver better protection for consumers with more regulation for will writers. The LSB is consulting on its proposals, so if your charity is active in the field of legacy fundraising or wants to be, make sure your views are heard. The consultation document is here (include link to: http://www.legalservicesboard.org.uk/what_we_do/consultations/open/pdf/1.pdf ). Take a read and send them your thoughts before Wednesday 16 July 2012.