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Fraudulent Will-Writer Jailed

30 August

Fraudulent Will-Writer Jailed

An unregulated “professional will writer” has been jailed for 14 months after charging clients to “fix” problems with their Wills which didn’t exist.

Will-writing firm, Legacy & Law was run by a Berkshire resident, Walter Ventriglia, acting under the pseudonym Tony Edwards.  Under his alias, he would write to clients advising them that their Wills would be invalid unless they made modifications due to changes in the law, when no such changes to the law had taken place.

In addition, Mr Ventiglia also ran a will storage business , UK Will Register, through which he claimed that client’s Wills could be stored at cost in a secure facility in London.  In reality, they were stored in the airing cupboard in his home.

Mr Ventriglia pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading having charged 130 clients between £30 and £60 to “fix” their Wills. He was sentence at Reading Crown Court on 19th August 2011.

The sentence further emphasises both the Law Society’s and the Legal Ombudsman’s concerns that many areas of the legal sector that are being conducted by unregulated bodies are open to abuse to the detriment of  ordinary people.

If you or anybody you know are considering making or reviewing their Will, it is strongly advisable to obtain specialist advice from a solicitor, who is bound by their professional code. 

At Bell & Buxton, we have a renowned Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning Team who will be more than happy to assist you in those areas. 

For more information, please contact Charles Neal on 0114 2495969 or email c.neal@bellbuxton.co.uk