Response to Herald article on 14/12/17
1. All clients that paid TWBD Ltd have and continue to have all of their instructions honoured by TWBD (Spain) Ltd.
The liquidation of thy Will Be Done Ltd was 6 months ago and is old hat now but the Herald have just published this article so it’s on everyone’s minds now
The fact there was a change of ownership has no impact whatsoever on our client’s documents
2. Our Cancellation Policy
This is the area most likely to cause complaint where people do not read our cancellation policy correctly.
We ask everyone to read through our cancellation policy document thoroughly and then sign it when they are happy. They get a copy and we do. This policy is also on our website for all to see under about us and it’s the first item in the list called cancelling.
It clearly states that should anyone have any doubts they should not sign anything but instead make a second appointment and we will write to them outlining our quote and confirming the 2nd appointment. We then call the day before to see if they still wish to proceed with the appointment.
If a client proceeds they are told that we will start work on their documents within 24 hours. If they cancel within 14 days they will only get a refund for the work we have yet to complete. Anything sent to them already is not refundable as it is a bespoke document and therefore unable to be sold to anyone else and also they could simply use the document themselves or have it retyped and we would be out of pocket.
Clients cancelling after a week or more would most likely have had most if not all of their work done by then and as such would be unlikely to get very much back in the form of a refund.
3. Our drafting process policy
Clients are asked to sign our drafting process document. The details contained within this document are always available on our website under about us - The drafting process
Clients are advised that it is most common for alterations to need to be made to the first draft and clients are free to amend drafts as many times as they like without charge.
We will not produce final legal documents until we have the approval from the client that the drafts are correct.
In spite of this a handful of clients believe that the draft they are sent is the final legal document and as such complain if there are areas that need to be amended. In some extreme cases going to other Will providers and engaging their services and requesting a full refund from ourselves without engaging in the drafting process at all.
Some clients do not read their drafts properly and advise us that they wish to proceed with us producing the final legal documents and then after they have been produced notice an error and then complain that the error is ours and not recognise that they approved the drafts themselves.
In such cases some clients will then complain about the fact that we would then charge to reprint the documents if we had not made an error and simply printed the version they signed to approve.
4. Our appointment policy
We will not stay with a client longer than an hour usually. In line with Trading Standards advice if we are ever approaching 2 hours we will halt the meeting and state this policy and only continue with the appointment if the client signs a declaration formally asking us to stay and complete the appointment/business with them.
We do not apply any pressure to a client to buy any more than they wish to, however it is quite common for a client to arrange an appointment with us to initially discuss a Will and in the course of conversation with our Consultant be recommended further products for consideration that may suit their circumstances. This is highlighted in our terms of business on our website under about us. A copy of our terms of business are always given to our clients at our first meeting in an envelope also containing lots of other useful fact sheets and information including a cancellation form. In addition to this, to be 100% certain all clients are aware of our terms of business they are sent another one with our recommendation letters.
A client is always free to choose as many or as few of our recommendations as they see fit, however some clients, when realising after a few days that they will not get a full refund under the cancellation policy then state they were pressured into buying the products as a means of leverage for a refund otherwise not available under the standard terms but which would be available if pressure selling were to be proven to have taken place.
It is simply not the case that we ever pressure anyone into buying any of our products or services
5. Trusts and deliberate deprivation of Assets
We are quite clear on all of our literature.
Deliberate deprivation of assets can be asserted if any client sets up a property Trust in their lifetime after they had been diagnosed with a chronic or degenerative condition that would give them reasonable cause going forward to believe that they would most likely need care in the future.
For the sole and over-riding reason to avoid care fees.
We advise there are many valid reasons for setting up a Trust which in their own right are not to avoid care fees however the side benefit of which would be to safeguard their property against being used to pay for care in the future.
This is totally legal and acceptable and we write all the pertinent reasons in the back of our Trusts and get them signed and witnessed so there can be no argument going forwards what the motivation was for setting up the Trust.
So if a client has not been diagnosed with a relevant condition, was not receiving care already at home, had not already had a local Authority assessment taking their home into consideration AND had valid reasons to set up the Trust other than the avoidance of care fees there is no way that Trust can be considered as anything other than robust, valid and unchallengeable.
6. Debbie Scully’s court case and bankruptcy
Debbie was made bankrupt after losing the essential help with her housing she had been receiving.
Her guilt was the following:
To answer the question – are you a Director or employee of a business with Yes where yes or no was the only option (no space was given to expand and no request made for such expansion or explanation).
To answer no to the question have you got any shares or investments when in fact she did own 1 x share in TWBD which she (as most people would who had never received any dividend from a company would ) forgot all about this fact, being as it was, worthless to her and set up years before.
To provide the wrong tenancy agreement to the council. A valid tenancy agreement between her and the letting agency did exist however in error she submitted one that had been set up between her and TWBD on her accountant’s advice to show that TWBD was not actually paying her rent for her, which would be taxable and effectively benefit in kind as she had gained the tenancy using TWBD’s name and not her own as she could not get credit in her own name.
As a result Debbie was given a 24 week suspended jail term and 120 hours community service.
This was wholly disproportionate to the simple clerical error that had occurred. No deceit was ever intended and nothing applied for that was not rightfully hers to receive.
However, the judgement was passed and this is where we stand.
And we stand 100% shoulder to shoulder by our colleague Debbie who is one of the most kind and caring people you could ever meet and who does not deserve to have to go through all of this extra anguish at this time, having as she has, lost her home, her business, her reputation and her financial standing in the course of 12 months and whose health is declining through severe Lupus, Fibro Myalgia and under active Thyroid issues.
If you would like to discuss any matters regarding these facts or publications I would be more than willing to do so on a face to face basis with anyone who would like to make an appointment to do so.
Thy Will Be Done (Spain) Ltd