Steer clear of will-writing scamsDon't get fooled by cut-price deals

18 February 2008

Signing a will

People have been warned not be conned by adverts and cold calls promising cut-price wills.

In some cases you could end up being fleeced by bogus will writers and left hundreds of pounds out of pocket, Citizens Advice has warned.

Often these bogus will-writers exploit the elderly and people on low incomes who can't afford to use a solicitor and have little experience of legal documents.

Some advertise wills for around £24 in local papers while others cold call people by phone with similar offers.

Legally valid

But the true cost can add up to hundreds of pounds and people are often required to pay up there and then. 

Two pensioners from Nottinghamshire responded to an offer of will writing for £20 plus VAT.

But Citizens Advice says the bill for the range of services they were sold came to £1,052.80 – even though their existing wills could have been amended very cheaply.

Citizens Advice consumer affairs policy officer Susan Marks said: ‘Citizens Advice Bureaux around the country are seeing people who have been conned into parting with their cash by people advertising will-writing on the cheap. 

‘They have responded to clever marketing only to find the costs mount up and they may never get the will they are promised – or if they do, it may not properly express their wishes, or may not even be legally valid.’