The Legal Services Board recommended to the Lord Chancellor yesterday that estate administration not be regulated.
The LSB had initially proposed that estate administration activities should be included in the list of reserved activities.
However, it concluded that statutory regulation would not be an effective or proportionate way to prevent criminal behaviour.
In the same recommendations the LSB said that will writing activities should be regulated.
Law Society President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: “We welcome the recommendations to regulate will writing activities, however we remain concerned that there is no regulation or monitoring in place to ensure that administrators do not misappropriate the estate’s assets.”
Chris Kenny, the LSB’s chief executive, told a press briefing that evidence of very poor practice was proportionately less for estate administration services than for will-writing.
Instead, the LSB recommends a range of initiatives to raise standards.
The Lord Chancellor has 90 days to decide whether to accept the recommendations, which will then be debated in the Commons and Lords.
Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel Elisabeth Davies also welcomed the recommendation on will-writing, but expressed disappointment that it did not extend to estate administration activities.
Ms Davies said: “Dealing with an estate can involve life-changing amounts of money, but this decision will leave people without a safety net should things go wrong and at a time when they are feeling at their most vulnerable.”