I have always believed in the maxim of a ‘fair price for a fair job’. The price that the consumer is prepared to pay is foremost in the mind of the businessman. It is no different to the Willwriter, except if the Willwriter happens to be a High Street bank.
Of course the banks have greater overheads than the independent Willwriter; bonuses, well appointed offices and shareholders. Even so, why have High Street banks over-charged their customers for Wills and probate? I think part of the answer is that very often, their customers are not in positions to compare prices, and, because it is the bank, they accept the bank’s word.
In response to criticism from the Office of Fair Trading, four banks are reviewing their charges for Willwriting services. The OFT wants consumers to be informed that:
- It is not essential to appoint a professional executor.
- A professional executor is not necessary unless it is clearly in the testator’s best interests.
- The Will provider should ensure the consumer has enough information to make an informed choice to appoint an executor including the basis of the professional fees.
The banks’ failure to inform consumers of their options is costing the consumer £40million each year.
Members of the Institute of Professional Willwriters are already monitored by the OFT and price structures and information packs have always reflected consumer fairness, with clear guidelines on how to complain.
My policy for Hay Tarn Wills is to produce an excellent product, with excellent service for a great price and I do not accept payment until the client is completely satisfied with the final product.
The banks cannot continue to mislead their customers and are now required to ‘toe the line’. This is the same line that IPW Willwriters have followed under their code of practice for several years. IPW Willwriters offer flexibility, transparency and fairness to every valued customer.
Hay Tarn charges £80 for a basic single Will and £145 for a basic Mirror Will. Fair enough?
http://www.oft.gov.uk/?itemId=776517 See the OFT article
www.ipw.org.uk The Institute of Professional Willwriters
www.haytarnwills.co.uk For Hay Tarn’s prices and client service levels