Terms & Conditions
1. DEFINITIONS and INTERPRETATION
a) Company means The Willwriting Service (Reading) of Sentinel House, Rydal Avenue, Reading, RG30 6XT, or its agent or third party instructed by it to act on its behalf in the provision of legal services. “We”, “us” and “our” refers to the Company.
b) Client means a person who contracts with the Company for the provision of legal services and includes the client’s partner, spouse or civil partner. “You”, “your” and “yours” refers to the Client.
c) The Willwriters Association and The Association of Lawyers and Legal Advisers of 40 Bowling Green Lane, London, EC1R 0NE, the professional body whose Code of Practice the Company operates and complies with.
d) Legal services means the drafting and/or execution of legal documents dealing with your personal property and affairs drafted by the Company on your instructions.
e) English law means the law of England and Wales under which this Letter of Engagement, and the legal services provided, are governed and construed.
a) At our first meeting we will establish your personal situation and wishes, give appropriate advice as to your options and take your detailed instructions. After you have approved the draft version of the relevant document(s). One such meeting is included in our fee, but if a further meeting is required for reasons out of our control, a charge will be made for this attendance.
c) We will correct any error or omission on our part free of charge.
d) We will hold and maintain Professional Indemnity Insurance cover of at least £2,000,000.
a) We are not responsible for the verification of any of the information provided by you in your instructions, particularly with regard to the identity or address of any person identified by you. Information regarding family or business circumstances or the age or condition of any person identified by you is taken at face value and will be relied upon by us.
d) Whilst every reasonable care will be exercised in providing the legal services, we are not liable for any losses arising in any way from acting on your instructions unless they are caused by our own fraud or negligence.
e) We are not liable for any loss arising out of failure to properly execute a document under English law unless the execution has been supervised in person by an Agent of the Company. We will check the document at our expense if sent to us for this purpose, but cannot warrant the document was validly executed unless supervised as above.
f) All correspondence between us, our Agents and you will be by first class post or email at the relevant addresses. We will not be liable for any loss arising from non-delivery of post or email, or any loss of documents beyond our control.
g) We reserve the right, at our absolute discretion, to decline to provide legal services to you. Where we do so we will refund any fees paid when we notify you of our decision. While there is no obligation to take or pay for any additional services, if you instruct us to act contrary to our advice we will ask you to sign a disclaimer and waive any liability arising from following your instructions.
4. YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
a) In order to give you appropriate advice and draft documents effectively you must disclose all relevant information and give full answers to all queries when we take your instructions. We cannot be held liable for any losses resulting from wrong or incomplete information given to us. It is your responsibility to check the information recorded for accuracy and completeness before it is submitted to us and you will be asked to sign to this effect.
b) If you have not provided all of the information we need to draft your documents within 28 days of signing this agreement you will be liable to pay 50% of our fee.
c) You must check any draft documents sent to you thoroughly to confirm the names and addresses are accurate and that they correctly reflect your wishes. You may contact us for advice and support via telephone on 0118 941 4119.
d) If you do not receive your draft documents within the timescales below you must notify us.
e) If the draft documents require amending you must notify us within 21 days of receipt, otherwise we are entitled to proceed as if they have been checked by you and are correct. You may request us to delay the production of the documents for up to a further 28 days.
f) You are responsible for the safe delivery of any documents to us, either by use of a pre paid envelope provided by us or by whatever suitable means you choose, the latter being at your own expense, and for arranging suitable insurance. We will not accept any responsibility for loss in transit to us. We will acknowledge safe receipt of title deeds or other legal documents, but not their completeness or content, which remains your responsibility.
g) You will pay the agreed deposit or fee in full on the date we receive your instructions and any balance when the documents are produced.
h) If you have arranged an attestation visit by our Agent, you should arrange for witnesses and attorneys (if required) to be present with you at the agreed time and place. If the attestation cannot proceed for any reason beyond our control an additional fee will be incurred by you.
i) In order for us to comply with Money Laundering Regulations you must provide us with acceptable proofs of identity and address, details available upon request.
j) By signing a copy of these Terms and Conditions when you give us your final instructions you confirm your acceptance of them.
a) You will be informed of our fees at the time of instruction. In relation to the drafting of Wills the fees are fixed and guaranteed and will not increase within 30 days of the date you sign our copy of this form, or at a later date without your prior express consent.
c) Ancillary legal services, such as first registration of a property, dealing with a leasehold property, deeds of gift or deeds of variation may incur an additional fee and/or registration or court fees. Such additional fee will be notified to you in writing in advance. You may cancel the entire transaction within 7 days by writing to us if the further cost is not acceptable to you.
d) If part of the fee paid to us is for services provided by a third party, or external disbursements, we will receive that part from you as your Agent and forward it to them.
e) We may pay part of your fee to a third party by way of a marketing fee, or we may receive a fee for introducing you to a third party who subsequently provides services to you.
a) Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney will be ready for your signature within a maximum of 14 days of receipt of your complete instructions.
b) Alternatively, we will post or email you a draft copy for your approval within 11 days and have the final document available for you to sign within another 3 days, unless you have requested amendments. Any spelling or other drafting error on our part brought to our attention by you within those 3 days will be rectified by us free of charge.
d) For more complex documents, or where we may have to rely on an external body or Government Department or Agency to provide us with necessary information, or where work is carried out by an external party, we cannot confirm set time periods but will keep you informed and produce the documents as soon as is possible.
e) If we fail to meet these timescales you may cancel the contract by writing to us, or decide to renegotiate the contract between us.
f) We will not accept liability for any consequences arising from delay on your part or the supply of incorrect information in the first instance.
If you require your documents urgently and instruct us to commence work prior to the expiration of the seven day cancellation period, you must pay our fee in full and your cancellation rights end as soon as we start drafting the documents.
8. DATA PROTECTION AND CONFIDENTIALITY
a) We operate under the Data Protection Act 1998 as amended and all information disclosed to us will remain confidential and secure, except as below.
b) We may need to collect, use, share and store personal and financial information about you and others. This may have been provided by you or obtained from third parties such as a financial institution that referred you to us, HM Land Registry, fraud prevention agencies or others. We may also pass information back to such third parties.
c) We may need to provide important information and guidance to parties named in legal documents and/or offer them our services, but we will not do so without your express permission.
d) We will not pass your personal information to any other party without your express permission unless required to do so by operation of the law.
e) Where you provide us with personal and financial information relating to others, for example; family members, dependants, joint asset holders, beneficiaries, professional advisers and executors or trustees, you confirm that you have their consent or are otherwise entitled to provide this information to us and we can use it in accordance with this agreement.
f) We may record or monitor telephone calls or electronic communications, including emails, between us to check your instructions and ensure we are meeting our service standards.
g) You accept that internet or electronic communications are not necessarily secure unless they are encrypted and we are not responsible for any interception or misuse of such data.
h) We will retain such personal information after the termination of any services or products supplied to you for the periods specified or permitted for legal, regulatory, fraud prevention, financial or legitimate business purposes. This is normally for 6 years after your death.
i) A copy of the information we hold about you may be requested in writing from the Company. The fee permitted by appropriate law or regulation may be charged for providing this information.
a) The Company shall retain your signed documents for safekeeping.
b) You may add additional documents such as deeds and funeral plan certificates by subscribing to our Sentinel Will Storage. Please see separate brochure for full terms and conditions.
c) If your Executor(s) supply us with a copy death certificate and suitable proofs of their identity and address, these will be forwarded to Sentinel Will Storage, and they will contact your Executor and arrange for return of all documentation in their possession held for safekeeping on your behalf. We do not accept responsibility for any documents held by Sentinel Will Storage.
d) We will also return your documents to you by post at the address on the documents, on receipt of your written request, or to your new address (with proof of change of address) if requested. (Retrieval fee and postage arranged and paid for by you). The cost of delivery must be paid in advance of despatch.
e) We will not accept any responsibility for any loss of documents beyond our control.
b) Any complaint will be acknowledged in writing within three working days of receipt. A full investigation will be undertaken and our written findings communicated to you within a further 28 days.
d) If you are not satisfied with our decision or that of the Willwriters Association (or if you choose not to refer your complaint to them), you may contact an independent arbitration service provided by IDRS Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. It may be contacted at The Estate Planning Arbitration Scheme, 70 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1EU.
The Company shall not be held liable or deemed to be responsible for any delays or failure in performance under these Terms and Conditions resulting from acts beyond its control, including but not limited to: Acts of God, acts or regulations of any government or supranational authority, war or national emergency, terrorist activities, industrial action, accident or fire.
Any provision of these terms and Conditions declared void or unenforceable by any competent authority or court shall, to the extent of such invalidity or unenforceability, be deemed severable and the other provisions shall continue unaffected.
13. PRICE PROMISE
We aim to provide the best possible service at the best possible price. That does not mean being the cheapest, but it does mean we aim to offer the best possible value for money. We will not compromise on quality or service, but we do offer face to face meetings.