which? critical of probate charges of high street banks and will writing businesses

Consumer Group Which?, using undercover researchers posing as divorcees with two adult children aged over 18, visited or contacted forty two solicitors, banks and businesses providing will writing services with instructions that they wished to leave everything to the children equally and that their combined assets totaled £270,000.00.

The Estate was said to consist of one property and a savings account. Each business or firm visited was asked to provide the cost of their charges for administering the Estate with those assets.

The published results were as follows :

Cost of administering a £270,000.00 Estate

Barclays £13,395.00
HSBC £6,874.00
Lloyds/HBOS £10,800.00
Nat West/RBS £12,220.00
Bank’s Average £10,830.00
Will writers average £4,759.00
Solicitors average £5,199.00

The charges of Oak Tree Probate Solutions for administering the Estate used in the Which research would total £1,762.50  - a significant saving on all those banks, firms and businesses contacted by the researchers.

The provision of will writing services is not regulated. Will writers offering probate services require no formal training or qualifications. Solicitors are, of course, highly trained, regulated and insured.