Banks to review will-writing services

Banks need to let customers know that appointing an executor is not necessary when writing a will. Consumers are spending extra on executors and failing to shop around. Four high street banks will review the way they sell will-writing and executor services following the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) concerns that consumers do not fully understand the process. Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays Bank and Lloyds Banking Group will improve their practices after the OFT found that some customer were appointing professional executors without recognising the alternative options available and the expense that would be involved.

Families fail to discuss inheritance

About 75% of people have not talked about inheritance with their family. Writing a will can help people to plan for retirement. Almost half of middle-aged home owners are afraid they will have to sell their property to finance a comfortable retirement and pay for long-term care, according to new research. The study, carried out by law firm Dickinson Dees, found that about two million people living in the UK are concerned they will be forced to put their house up for sale in order to meet the costs of retirement, which could be avoided if more people talked about inheritance and estate planning by creating a will. The research highlighted that three quarters of people have failed to discuss matters of inheritance with their parents even though people with estates or assets worth more than £325,000, or double that for married couples and civil partnerships, are liable to pay inheritance tax (IHT) at a fixed rate of 40%.