Banks and “unethical” Wills
One of our business partners Kings Court Trust has recently commented upon the unethical stance of some banks stretching back to the 1990’s.
I recall the offer at the time was along the lines of get your will drawn up free by one of our bank advisers and then see one of our financial advisers (salespeople!!!) to flog you irrelevant sales poroducts (think PPI and endowment policies for example) and then put the bank in as your executors to fleece your famiolies when you are dead! Is it any wonder why these institutions are held in such low esteem? Read on…
British banks have recently hit the headlines for their unethical approach to Will writing back in the early 2000s and late 1990s. It has been revealed that a staggering 1.5million grieving families could lose thousands of pounds after they were sold dishonourable Wills by the banks.
Numerous British banks offered cheap Will writing services to their clients, creating Wills for just £75 or sometimes even providing the service for free. To put this in perspective, the average cost of creating a Will is estimated to cost between £100 and £300 when written by a Will writer or a solicitor. However, the banks were offering their Will writing service at a significantly lower price.
During the Will writing process, the bank would attempt to appoint themselves as their executor, in return for an estimated 2.5% share of the estate. This percentage fee may not seem like a large amount but it can easily leave the family unnecessarily losing thousands. If you take the average UK estate value of £147,134for example, the cost payable to the bank could total more than £3,678. This could easily escalate with a more expensive estate. It is extremely likely that the fee to the bank would outweigh the cost of administering the estate.
Many families were unaware that the bank had been appointed as the executor in the small print so it could come as quite a surprise at an already difficult time. It has been predicted that the banks could collectively pocket £9billion from Will writing services.
As one of the UK’s leading estate administration providers, we understand what is involved in the estate administration process and we know that every estate is different. That’s why we calculate the cost of administering an estate by the amount of work involved. Our specialists take the time to learn about the details of the estate and then provide an accurate, fixed price quote based on the information obtained.
Many banks continue to offer Will writing services today so it’s important to be aware of what you are agreeing to when creating a Will with a bank. Lloyds will charge 2.5% on the first £1million of an estate. Natwest and RBS charge £1,500 along with 2.5% of the estate, with a maximum fee of £15,000. In order to avoid any unexpected costs when the time comes, ensure you have complete clarity on the wishes you are leaving in your Will.
We’re experts in estate administration and our sole purpose is to help families move on. With our unrivalled knowledge and vast amount of experience, we can advise on any situation. If you have any questions regarding estate administration, call our Client Services Team on 01752 401401.