Banks to review will writing and executor services - Kitsons Solicitors
PUBLISHED: 12:29 18 March 2011 | UPDATED: 18:58 20 February 2013
25 February 2011 - The Office of Fair Trading has reported that the big four banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS have all voluntarily agreed to review the way in which they sell will writing and executor services to consumers.
25 February 2011 - The Office of Fair Trading has reported that the big four banks Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS have all voluntarily agreed to review the way in which they sell will writing and executor services to consumers. This follows an approach to those four banks by the OFT in 2010 in an effort to improve will writing for customers and their beneficiaries.
In particular the four banks have agreed to implement three key principles so that customers can make well informed decisions:-
- Consumers making a will should not be led to believe that appointing a professional executor is essential or the norm.
- Consumers should not be encouraged to appoint a professional executor unless it is clearly in their best interests.
- Providers should be satisfied, before the will is drafted, that the consumer has the information necessary to make an informed choice. The consumer should understand the options around executor appointments and be aware of the likely basis of charging for the professional executor service.
All four banks are reviewing their procedures and marketing literature, with a view to putting in place any changes in the next 6 months.
Charlie Siegle, a Solicitor in the Private Client team in Torquay, comments that:-
This a welcome review by the banks as hopefully it should lead to consumers having more information about the costs involved and the options available to them.
OFT statistics published last year suggest that 43% of people chose to appoint professional will writers or the solicitor who wrote their will to act as their executor. There is no legal requirement to have a professional executor and often family members or friends will be more than capable of dealing with an Estate.
However in some circumstances, such as for example where an Estate is complex or its value produces a tax liability, consumers may prefer to appoint professionals to handle those issues for them. They may also feel that coping with the loss of a loved one or a friend is difficult enough, without having to deal with the administration of their Estate as well.
The probate team at Kitsons is sensitive to these issues and is highly experienced in dealing with a broad range of Estates, from modest to multi million pound. We are open and upfront with clients about what we will do and how much it will cost.
Please contact Charlie on 01803 202027 if you need advice on any of the issues arising out of the article above.