New quality standard unveiled for wills
The Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme, which will open for applications on October 31st, is aimed at SRA regulated practices that offer will drafting, probate and estate administration services.
Accreditation will provide these firms with the opportunity to demonstrate to consumers and key stakeholders their commitment to the highest standards of client service.
Applicants will undergo a rigorous assessment, and will be required to undertake compulsory training, self-reporting, random audits and annual reviews in order to maintain the new status.
At the heart of the scheme will be the first Law Society Protocol for wills and estate administration. This provides practical guidelines and recommended best practice at all key stages of the wills and probate process.
Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: “The aim of the scheme is to reinforce set standards of practice and client care when providing will drafting, probate and estate administration services. At the heart of this and other Law Society accreditations is consumer reassurance, demonstrating a commitment to putting their needs first and delivering the highest levels of service.
“It is a common consumer misconception that only solicitors prepare wills, but there are many other service providers in today’s market.
“As the law currently stands anyone can set themselves up as a ‘will writer’. For consumers to make informed choices, it is important that they are able to distinguish between those that are unregulated, uninsured and untrained, and our members’ practices that specialise in this area and offer a quality service.”
The scheme will be promoted to consumers from January 2014. Law firms are invited to register for an online introduction to the scheme via a free Law Society webinar, which takes place at midday on Friday 12 July 2013.