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Law Society to launch will writing standards scheme

by: Carmen Reichman
  • 28/05/2013
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Law Society to launch will writing standards scheme
The legal industry is set to launch a new will writing quality scheme to bridge the gap left by the government's refusal to regulate the practice.

The Wills and Inheritance Scheme, which will launch in July, was designed by the Law Society on the back of suggestions by the Legal Services Board to make will writing a reserved activity.

The scheme will aim to set minimum standards for the practice of will writing and estate administration, following Chris Grayling’s refusal two weeks ago to subject it to formal regulation.

A Law Society spokesperson said: “The launch of the scheme is timed well because of the Lord Chancellor’s decision two weeks ago.

“It will give consumers a level of clarification in terms of what quality services they’re getting from will-writers and provide some insurance.”

However, the society, which campaigns for clearer guidance and more transparency in the sector, said the new scheme was not a complete solution.

“We would like to eventually see the regulation of will-writers, that’s what we will continue to lobby on,” it added.

Will writers are not currently regulated meaning their customers do not benefit from professional indemnity insurance and compensation schemes.

The new quality scheme seeks to set minimum standards of practice and make it clearer to consumers what level of quality firms they are dealing with.

Firms will have to adhere to key principles surrounding service levels, timescales for communications with clients, and transparency about costs, which will be set out in a general protocol to be published on 5 July.

Will writing and estate administration will have separate protocols to abide by.

Applications to join the scheme will be open to all Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulated entities and will be open for online submission from September.

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