The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) have launched an investigation to protect consumers following complaints about unregulated will-writing and other legal services.
At Make a Will Online we have worked tirelessly for nearly 15 years to drive up standards, oversight and consumer protection in the online will space.
Our response to the CMA is below:
This is our response to the CMA’s consultation on Will Writing Services. We appreciate the opportunity to provide insights from our business. We have operated in this space since 2008 and have sought and succeeded in driving up standards across the online will writing sector.
Make a Will Online is committed to delivering exemplary will-writing services at affordable prices, adhering to the high ethical standards and ensuring the best protection for our customers. As such, we would like to address the concerns raised by the CMA and share the key features that set our service apart.
We believe it is possible to provide excellent, professional advice and assistance in an affordable way with transparent pricing and comprehensive safeguards for consumers.
Qualified Solicitor Review:
To ensure the accuracy and legality of every will we create, our qualified solicitors review each document. We offer our customers an extra layer of scrutiny. We give our customers confidence that their wishes will be upheld faithfully.
Access to Legal Expertise:
Our commitment to exceptional customer service means that any of our clients can reach out to us at any time. Our solicitors promptly respond to any legal inquiries, providing guidance and advice as needed.
Innovation and Regulation:
We are proud to be the only specialist online will writing company to receive Solicitors Regulation Authority Consent under the Innovation Space Waiver scheme. This recognition highlights our commitment to delivering innovative and reliable solutions in full sight of the main professional regulator.
We firmly believe in transparency. All our customers are informed about the exact charges before commencing the will-writing process. This transparency fosters trust and clarity in our relationships with clients.
Adherence to Ethical Standards:
Ethical integrity is at the core of our business. We uphold the highest standards in all our interactions. We have a comprehensive complaints procedure. This ensures we safeguard our clients’ best interests.
Professional Indemnity Insurance:
Our customers’ peace of mind is of paramount importance to us. That is why we maintain £2 million in professional indemnity insurance, safeguarding our clients against any unforeseen legal complexities.
We share the CMA’s concerns about the practices of some providers in the will-writing industry. Unethical practices reduce consumer confidence, give a competitive edge to substandard providers, and can lead to emotional and financial hardship for consumers and their loved ones. Some of the key issues we have observed include:
Unrealistically Low Initial Quotes:
Many other regulated and unregulated providers entice customers with unrealistically low initial quotes (e.g. £19.99 for a single will), only to escalate costs through hidden fees and add-ons, ultimately misleading consumers. These consumers can end up paying many hundreds of pounds.
Some providers resort to upselling services that customers neither expect nor require, potentially burdening them with unnecessary costs.
Lack of Professional Indemnity Insurance:
Customers using other unregulated providers may be left vulnerable without the protection of professional indemnity insurance, which we consider a crucial safeguard.
Absence of Qualified Professionals:
Inadequate access to qualified professionals within certain unregulated providers may expose customers to substandard advice and potentially flawed wills.
As a responsible provider, we are dedicated to working collaboratively with the CMA to ensure that the will-writing industry upholds the highest consumer protection standards. Our commitment to transparency, qualified expertise, and ethical practices demonstrates our unwavering dedication to providing a fair and secure service to our customers.
We welcome the opportunity to engage further in discussions and contribute to initiatives that enhance consumer protection in the will-writing sector. Our contact information is provided below, and we are available for any additional inquiries or clarifications.
Thank you for considering our response. We look forward to working towards a better, more consumer-friendly industry together.
Digilegal Ltd t/a Make a Will Online