New STEP Research Report – Estate Planning

The new STEP research report highlights the importance of engaging suitably qualified advisors in Estate Planning.

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is a global professional body setting standards, and offering training and education for its members to ensure standards are upheld.  Lucy Lawton, Associate Solicitor in our Probate Team is an Affiliate member of STEP and experiences many of the concerns raised in the report within her practice.

Errors in Wills

The Report entitled “Wills and Trusts: Buyer Beware” states that 79% of STEP members have come across Wills with errors.

Will writers and other non lawyers who draft Wills and complete Estate Administrations are completely unregulated – this leaves no means of redress in the future if it becomes evident that there has been negligence or dishonesty.

Can mistakes in Wills be rectified?

Although some errors can be rectified after a testator has passed away, this adds cost, delay and distress to the Probate application and Estate Administration processes at an already difficult time.

It is preferable not to have to rectify errors and to ensure that Wills are drafted correctly in the first instance.  It is for this reason that STEP are advocating regulation within the Will writing and Estate Administration sector.  STEP conducted similar research in 2011 and have found little to no improvement which makes evident the need for change in this sector.

The effect of sub standard advice and drafting can be significant such as inheritance tax (or a higher sum of tax) being payable than was necessary.

The cost of preparation of a Will by a Solicitor is often a concern for clients, however, basic Wills are inexpensive and correct drafting will ensure no unnecessary costs in the future.  Solicitors’ work is also covered the firm’s professional indemnity insurance which offers additional peace of mind.

We offer cost effective high quality Will drafting with an initial no obligation consultation to ascertain how we can best service your needs. Contact our Wills team today to arrange a free initial consultation.

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