A reserved Legal Activity?
Surprisingly, the Will writing industry is not currently regulated; but this does not mean there isn’t an increasing demand for Will writers to become regulated.
It’s apparent that the number of ‘cow-boys’ out there has increased and we have come across too many stories where a Will, which the client thought to be professionally written, either did not correctly state the clients wishes or failed completely. In this circumstance, there is very little the client can do.
If we have seen these stories then clients will have too and this can understandably make clients very nervous about writing their Will; sometimes to the point where they put off writing their Will altogether. The biggest concern for clients is trusting the professional sat in front of them.
The House of Commons have recently been driven to delve into this issue a little deeper and have taken a look at the pros of cons of adding regulation for Will writing. The decision to exclude Wills from the original Legal Service Act was by no means unanimous – there were many arguments put together to try to force regulation. At the time, the Government responded to these arguments by suggesting that voluntary regulation would suffice.
Whether you are pro-regulation or not, what is clear is that these questions are rearing their head again and it is definitely advisable for Will writers to opt for voluntary regulation. We would expect that regulation will be considered again within the next 5-10 years, whether this be through the Institute of Professional Will Writers (IPW) or FCA. Becoming regulated voluntarily does also assist with giving clients peace of mind – the power of which should never be underestimated.