The first recognised quality standard for wills and estate administration in England and Wales will start operating next year, the Law Society announced earlier this month.
The Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS) will be open only to SRA-regulated legal practices that offer will drafting, probate, and estate administration services, and will require applicants to undergo a rigorous assessment, compulsory training, self-reporting, random audits, and annual reviews.
The move follows the Government's decision earlier this year that it would not regulate will writers in England and Wales. The Law Society had campaigned to change the law so that only properly trained, regulated and insured persons would be authorised to write wills.
“We argued that all those providing wills services should be trained to the same level and subject to uniform regulatory requirements,” said Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff. “The Legal Services Board's Consumer Panel threw its weight behind the Society's campaign, however the Lord Chancellor announced earlier in the spring that the Government would not change the law. For consumer protection this means that the only prudent choice is to instruct a solicitor to prepare your will.”
“This exacting scheme assures consumers who wish to prepare a will or to manage the administration of their estate, two of the biggest decisions of most people's lives, that not only are they using a regulated solicitor's firm but one specifically endorsed for high standards in this area,' she added.
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