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Will Writing Regulations Explained

27 June 2019

What is a will writer?

A will writer is a legal representative who drafts and creates your last will and testament. Anyone can set themselves up will writing. You do not need any legal qualifications to be a will writer and there are no regulations in place. There are many organisations nationally that call themselves will writers. Some of these rely upon staff who have had only rudimentary training. Some of the wills they encourage people to make are not suitable for their particular circumstances, there is little prospect of pursuing a will writer if incorrect advice is given.  This is mainly due to the absence of any wider regulation and insurance in place.

Who can I rely on for will writing?

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) regulates all solicitors. As part of this solicitors must have appropriate indemnity insurance in place. The Society of Will Writers or the Institution of Professional Will Writers also regulate writing firms. Don’t let someone unqualified determine the future of your estate.

What about stricter regulation on will writing?

The Law Society has attempted to remove “rogue” will writers from the system. They put forward a request that the government regard will writing as a reserved legal activity. This means it would only be carried out by suitably qualified and regulated legal professionals.  The Legal Services Board also made a recommendation back in 2013 that formal regulation be imposed. The government at that time decided to encourage voluntary regulation instead.

As things stand, we are still in a situation where anyone can call themselves a will writer. It is important that members of the public do take care that they are getting appropriate advice from someone who is suitably qualified.

What can I do?

By instructing one of the solicitors at Poole Alcock to prepare a will, you can be safe in the knowledge that you be receiving a fully professional service. Qualifications, and regulations are part of a professional service.

Speak to one of our expert solicitors in our Wills and Probate team on 01270 625478 . Alternatively, you can visit our wills and probate services page here or send us your details here.

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