Last hurdle before accountants can offer probate services: a two-day course

Print This Post

15 August 2014


Soare: more choice to the consumer

Passing a two-day course will enable accountants to start offering probate law services to the public, after the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) yesterday officially received the power to regulate probate and licence alternative business structures (ABS).

The institute plans to issue the first licences next month, saying that over 250 firms have already expressed an interest in accreditation, with more expected to follow.

ICAEW-regulated firms will need to become ABSs if not all of their principals and owners are individually authorised to do probate work.

The ICAEW has advised its members that to be individually authorised, they will need to provide evidence of attending a course and passing a two-hour assessment, containing a mix of short questions and multiple-choice questions, in which they get a score of at least 50%. The recommended course is a two-day offering from SWAT UK, the stated aim of which is “to provide a good understanding of the basics of probate and estate administration”.

ICAEW-regulated probate firms will be subject to the Legal Ombudsman’s jurisdiction and must carry minimum professional indemnity insurance of £500,000 per claim.

The ICAEW’s chief executive, Michael Izza, said: “ICAEW applied to become a regulator and licensing authority for probate and ABSs because we believe that this will open up the marketplace to the consumer, who might want their accountant to handle legal services too. We also knew that members were keen to offer these services and having more providers should make the market more competitive.”

Vernon Soare, the institute’s executive director, added that the move is “practical evidence of the role that the Legal Services Board is playing in transforming the provision of legal services and giving more choice to the consumer”.

Despite its claims to be the first non-legal body to become a regulator of probate, the ICAEW is actually the third, after the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland, which have both been approved regulators for several years.

However, for different reasons neither has actually exercised the right to grant members the right to conduct probate.

Tags: , , ,



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

Inbound marketing for law firms – For those about to flock

Chris Davidson Moore LT

Written in honour of Malcolm Young, recently deceased founding member of AC/DC, there are nine references to AC/DC songs throughout this article. We will send a £20 iTunes voucher to the first person who gets in touch to tell us what they are. The forces that are driving change in the legal profession are wide and varied. The ability of law firms and individual solicitors to respond positively and innovatively to these challenges will determine who survives and prospers. Competition for new business is fierce, a dog eat dog world, one might say. Which brings us to AC/CD. Not my favourite rock band, but an acronym for Attract, Convert, Close and Delight – the four pillars of inbound marketing.

December 13th, 2017