Estate Admin and Probate

Pre-paid Probate Plans

Pre-paid Probate Plans. Following the publication of Prepaid Probate Plans Limited's open letter to the estate planning profession.

Today's Wills and Probate polled the industry on pre-paid probate plans and featured Alex Truesdale, who is trenchant in her view of the plans.

For more information contact Alex Truesdale or  Call: 07887 946557 for any questions that you may have on Wills or your estate planning needs.

Pre-paid Probate Plans

Following the publication of Pre-paid Probate Plans Limited’s open letter to the estate planning profession, Today’s Wills and Probate polled the industry on pre-paid probate plans and Will Writer Alex Truesdale, who is trenchant in her criticism of this product, was delighted to be asked to comment:

“It’s hard to know where to start with this extraordinary letter from Michelle Kemp of Prepaid Probate Plans Ltd (“PPP”), whose recent entry into the sector seems both ill-timed and ill-conceived.

Pre-paid probate plans offer the worst of all worlds. They lock executors into using a nominated professional, perhaps decades into the future, for a fixed upfront fee paid out of the client’s current resources. For PPP at least, the work covered appears to be limited to basic, non-contentious estate administration only – excluding conveyancing, trusts or variation work – which may not even be wanted or needed by the time that the client has passed away. Frankly, I wouldn’t touch pre-paid probate plans with a bargepole. At least funeral pre-payment plans allow clients to pay for a service which will definitely be needed one day.

Most of all, I’m staggered at Kemp’s call for another self-regulatory association – which the sector in general, not PPP, is to fund. Surely the Safe Hands funeral plan debacle showed that the most effective form of regulation stems from the FCA. Kemp’s suggestion that the FPA was a “successful forerunner” by bringing legitimate operators into the fold ready for full regulation ignores the fact that Safe Hands was able to do the harm it did by operating totally outside of the FPA.

My hopes for the sector are twofold:

  • That FCA regulation of pre-paid funeral plans will enable the return of consumer confidence in the product; and
  • That the estate planning sector publicly bans the marketing of pre-paid probate plans and leaves entrants such as PPP to make the case directly to the FCA for full regulation without the halfway house of self-regulation. My own association, the IPW, has already made its stance very clear on prepaid probate plans in that it does not support these schemes – as is clearly reflected in its Code of Practice. We cannot allow commercial impatience to prejudice the interests of our consumers.”

As featured in Today’s Wills and Probate in September 2022. 

Alex Truesdale Wills - Will writing, LPA's, estate planning & estate admin services in London Cobham

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