Q&As

Cancellation Rights: Do I have to give cancellation notice for an emergency off-premises will?

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Published on LexisPSL on 16/06/2014

The following Practice Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cancellation Rights: Do I have to give cancellation notice for an emergency off-premises will?
  • What do the Regulations say?
  • Practical steps you can take

Cancellation Rights: Do I have to give cancellation notice for an emergency off-premises will?

From 13 June 2014, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 replace the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008. The regulations apply if you enter into an off-premises or distance contract with a consumer client.

At the heart of the regulations is the duty to give the client:

  1. notice of their right to cancel (called Instructions for cancellation), and

  2. a prescribed Cancellation form

If time is of the essence and you have to draft the will quickly, you will need an express request from your client to start work during the cancellation period—see precedent: Request to start work during cancellation period. Firms may, however, feel it is impractical to obtain an express request to start work during the cancellation period and be concerned that waiting for the cancellation period to expire may breach other professional obligations or expose the firm to a negligence claim.

What do the Regulations say?

The new regulations are drafted to encompass every type of consumer contract and therefore do not cater for specific issues affecting particular types of professional services, eg the scenario described above.

The Regulations do not permit traders (ie law firms) to override information and consent requirements because the

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