Letter: A question of will power

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The Independent Online
Sir: Andrew Lockley of the Law Society paints a rosy picture of new controls on solicitors acting as executors of wills (letter, 13 October). From November, some beneficiaries, but only some, will be able to ask the Law Society for an independent check of a solicitor's bill, largely where the solicitor - and the solicitor alone - is acting as executor. But this reform is more limited than Mr Lockley suggests. Beneficiaries may still find it hard to get redress in cases of solicitors' delays, poor service, or negligence.

And embarrassments to the profession certainly exist. The October edition of Which? magazine found that one in five wills was, in the opinion of experts, poor; of the wills drafted by solicitors, five out of 31 were poor, and only six could be described as good. This is hardly a record to cheer.

Solicitors clearly have some way to go to improve their will-writing skills, and when it comes to appointing a solicitor to act as executor, the advice must remain - don't.

Yours faithfully, JOHN HOSKER Deputy Director Consumers' Association London, NW1 17 October

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