Survey: public thinks all will-writers are solicitors

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By Legal Futures

9 February 2010

Wills: public confusion over who can write them

Two in three members of the public believe that all will-writers are trained solicitors, research has shown.

The survey of 1,018 people is the latest shot in the PR battle launched late last year by the Fellowship of Professional Willwriters and Probate Practitioners, which says it is the only organisation in the UK to offer nationally accredited qualifications in will-writing and probate practice.

In October 2009, the Fellowship launched BTEC qualifications offered by Edexcel

When asked to respond to the true or false statement that ‘Anyone can currently set themselves up as a willwriter, as qualifications are not needed’, 82% of people thought that was incorrect. Some 45% said they felt confused by the will-writing process and 21% said they would rather write their will themselves.

Rita Leat, president of The Fellowship, said the findings were ‘alarming’.

The survey comes as Scotland moves towards regulating will-writers. South of the border, the Legal Services Board has yet to investigate the issue.

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