Prepaid Probate Plans addresses industry’s concerns following concerned reaction to open letter to estate planning profession
Prepaid Probate Plans Limited (PPP) has responded to the industry’s widely held concerns regarding pre-paid probate and its potential impact on consumers.
Following the publication of PPP’s open letter to the estate planning profession, Today’s Wills and Probate polled the thoughts of the industry and looked to gauge how the contents of the letter were received – with the general response being one of rejection to pre-paid probate and the plans of PPP.
As promised, Today’s Wills and Probate extended a right of reply to PPP and offered them a platform to publicly address the industry’s concerns. Here’s what they had to say.
Our reasons for reaching out to the estate planning profession with our open letter were as follows:
- To steadfastly support the campaign for better protection of customers, and to wholeheartedly agree with the call for statutory regulation of the pre-paid probate sector.
- To open a dialogue with all professional trade bodies in the sector.
- To answer specific questions, concerns, and issues raised by Best members and supporters:
- From a viewpoint of how specifically as an individual company we have designed and developed our products, governance, and processes to ensure customers are better protected (i.e., as per our terms and conditions, allowing a refund of monies paid back to the plan holders’ estate if, at the time of need, the appointed Regulated law firm deems that probate is not needed).
- Suggesting a potential solution as to how the sector can further protect customers via the creation of a self-regulatory body, prior to statutory regulation.
- To highlight, through the Q&A section within the open letter, and through the link to our customer Terms and Conditions, how we differ from other providers and the current offerings within the pre-paid probate plan market. We wished to highlight the fact that “not all companies are the same”, and that our products, processes, and terms do offer fair value, do offer customer protection and choice, and that we have gone beyond minimum standards.
The Best Foundation declined to engage in an open discussion with us and have made their position clear.
Best Foundation’s Code of Practice prohibits their members from the introduction to or sale of pre-paid probate products and are calling for all other professional bodies to do the same, effectively to ban the product.
Unfortunately, it appears the responses subsequently received by Today’s Wills & Probate indicate that some commentators may not have properly read through the whole of our open letter and may not have fully read the Q&A section, nor specifically our customer Terms and Conditions, as the concerns raised and repeated are addressed in these documents and do highlight how we differ from other providers.
We draw this conclusion from reading some of the comments made in response to our open letter being very similar in their context to the comments made about the sector generally and the offerings from other providers before releasing our letter – and have not commented factually on how we have chosen to answer and deal with the concerns voiced.
Not all professional estate planners will see or accept the value of pre-planning for probate, we understand that. But we are aware that a high number of estate planners do accept the value of pre-planning for probate, for their customers. Opinions will be wide and varied. Opinions are simply that – opinions. Our hope is that individuals and professional bodies alike will take appropriate steps to rigorously evaluate, and then make their own educated decisions, whatever they be. The position taken by some seems to bear no relation to individual facts, or on individual evaluation.
Pre-paid probate plans are being sold throughout England & Wales; the marketplace is an emerging one and will be sure to grow. Therefore, again, we wish to reiterate our unwavering desire to offer a product that gives customers choice, is of fair value, and has robust and fair terms and conditions.
The views contained within this article represent those of the submitter, Prepaid Probate Plans Limited, and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.