A network set up as an alternative to established will writing representative bodies has claimed that in less than a fortnight since launch, it has already received applications from a quarter as many prospective members as it planned to sign up in the whole of 2014.
The Society of Will Writers is set to adopt a code of conduct change that will prevent its members from taking advance payments for acting in the administration of a client’s estate after research found few benefits for consumers.
The Institute of Professional Will Writers has appointed a solicitor to be its first chief executive, as part of a radical overhaul of the organisation that it hopes will involve licensing legal services businesses.
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and Council for Licensed Conveyancers have thrown their hats into the ring to regulate will-writers, amid further criticism of the Legal Services Board’s decision not to extend regulation to estate administration.
Accountants should be excluded from Legal Services Board plans to reserve will-writing and estate administration, their professional body has argued. Meanwhile, it is not yet clear whether the SRA will be allowed to regulate will-writers.
Four bodies have already put themselves forward to regulate will-writers following the Legal Services Board’s proposal that will-writing become a reserved legal activity, with all making their intentions clear at this week’s Legal Futures conference.
The Legal Ombudsman is to float the idea of extending its jurisdiction so as to handle complaints against will-writers, in a bid to ease the problems faced by consumers who think they are regulated, Legal Futures can report.
The Society of Will Writers is stepping up efforts to position itself as the regulator of the industry by introducing compliance checks against its new code of practice. The SWW is the largest will-writing body with 2,000 members.
Our regular round-up of news snippets it’s worth knowing about include a new leading of firms advising AIM businesses, a clean-up operation by the Society of Will Writers, and a survey showing fragile confidence among professionals about the future and the steps they are taking to steady their businesses.
The Society of Will Writers has become the second trade body to announce its bid to regulate the profession if required. After the Legal Services Consumer Panel said will-writing should be regulated, the society said a system could be introduced “very quickly and cheaply with the profession bearing the bulk of the cost”.