Proposals to make will-writing a legal activity requiring authorisation from a regulator are likely to be submitted to the Lord Chancellor next month.
The Legal Services Board (LSB) is likely to recommend that will-writing and estate administration services are made ‘reserved legal activities'.
Currently, will-writing activity is not regulated, though many providers of other services - including financial advisers and solicitors, who are regulated for other activities via their respective regulators - offer it.
The LSB's proposals follow investigations which indicated that too many consumers using will-writing providers are receiving a poor service.
The Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling is expected to receive the LSB's recommendations by the middle of next month, after which he will have 90 days to respond. Any subsequent changes to the law will have to be passed through parliament.
It is understood that, if the existing proposals go ahead, financial advisers may have to request authorisation from a new regulator if they want to provide will-writing services.
The incoming Financial Conduct Authority - one of the Financial Services Authority's replacement regulators from April - will likely be required to apply to be accredited to issue will-writing licences, but it may chose not to.
Under those circumstances, advisers would have to apply to a different authority.
Caring for children and elderly relatives
Similar to June 2007
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fine reduced to £60,000
Two roles created