The Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling, has formally approved the right of chartered accountants and legal executives to offer non-contentious probate services in England and Wales without a solicitor.
The deregulation was recommended by the Legal Services Board (LSB) last December. The LSB noted that many accountants already offer trust planning and estate administration services, and their new ability to act as a single advisor across all three fields will reduce costs to consumers and increase competition. Will writing is already unregulated in England and Wales.
Probate practice by members of the two professions will be licensed and regulated by their professional institutes – the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and ILEX Professional Standards respectively.
Grayling has moved quickly to allow the first new applicants sufficient time to enter the market next year. The required legislation will be enacted by a statutory instrument making an order under the Legal Services Act 2007, subject to formal approval in Parliament.
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