Poorly written Wills have long plagued the Probate industry. Alternative Business Structures (ABS) competition threat means that legal practitioners are under increasing pressure to reach the larger public to restore confidence in Will writing. This follows the Lord Chancellor’s decision last May not to regulate Will writing. Instead leaving the responsibility to the profession to ensure that customers are not ripped off.
Both the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Tax Quality Scheme (WIQS) and The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) have unveiled plans to assist firms in providing a mark of quality. The STEP Code of Will Preparation will reassure clients that their members are properly qualified to draw up a Will. It also ensures that the members are operating at the highest level and demonstrates top ethical standards. The two societies insist that such ‘quality marks’ will complement rather than compete against each other. From April, the STEP code will automatically cover its 7,000 members whilst the Law Society’s scheme is an elective accreditation.
Vice-chair of the Law Society’s private client section, Gary Rycroft, explains that WIQS will be successful if they are able to get the message across to the general public that Probate and Will writing needs specialist attention. This will ensure the highest level of technical ability is achieved when Will writing. Also, it will mean clients can be assured they are using a trustworthy service.
There isn’t a quota in mind for the number of firms accepted onto the scheme. However, Rycroft has stated that as long as they accredit the right firms, the public will recognise a differentiation across the industry.
Make sure your Will is written by an expert.
Our fully qualified professional Will writing experts in Taunton and Street are fully accredited members of STEP. You can therefore be rest assured that your Will is written at the highest level.