It has recently been brought to attention that there has been a great rise in door-to-door solicitors in the UK. This is worrying as there have been multiple cases of individuals paying a significantly larger amount than what they should be paying as fraudsters and unregulated salesmen take advantage of the innocent. Norwich Solicitors Gordon Dean warn residents in Norfolk to be aware of this sudden trend so not to be taken advantage of.
In many cases, it is often pensioners who have been pressured by forceful solicitors into signing a contract to rewrite their will, alongside paying a lot of unnecessary money. 90% of wills are written by licensed solicitors, whereas the other 10% of wills are constructed by illegitimate, door-to-door firms.
Recently, a family from Poole paid 16 times more than they should have for their two newly written wills. Overall, it cost them £3,200 over 5 years due to signing into a contract with an unregulated door-to-door salesman. The average price of a will is around £100; this shows just how unfortunate the couple were as they could have paid a mere £200, rather than the £3,200 that they paid.
As a result, the government has been pressured by the Legal Services Board regulator to start regulating the whole industry surrounding will writing contracts. The chief executive, Chris Kenny, has commented that “there is some really nasty criminal stuff going on at the bottom of the market” and it is not fair on bereaved families to have to deal with the stress of an invalid will, whilst they are experiencing bereavement. He also stated that “what was a real surprise to us was – across regulated solicitors and unregulated firms – was to find that one in five wills is just plain rubbish. Details about names, amounts and addresses are wrong and it creates an added level of stress relatives don’t need.”
However, Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, chose not to regulate all will writing in the country because he believed that it was not the best solution to the problem of fraudster salesmen.
This decision not to regulate will writing, estate administration and the power of attorney has caused much recent controversy. The Legal Services Consumer Panel has commented that this lack of change is “terrible news for consumers” and that it “made no sense given the sheer weight of evidence of consumer detriment and the wide consensus backing regulation.” The Legal Services Board is so appalled by the fact that the industry is not going to be regulated that they are constructing a blue print for those in the business to follow. It will be a rulebook with strict guidelines that will be shown to the Conservative secretary of State and if successful, their rules may be put into place.
How do you stop door to door solicitors?
The simplest way of discouraging door to door solicitors is to stick up a ‘no door to door sales’ sign in your front window of your house as this clearly warns any businesses against offering you their services. If they do knock at your door with the intention of selling you a product, they are violating your private space.