Society of Will Writers issue guidance on dealing with vulnerable clients.
According to the SWW, will writers are likely to come across clients vulnerable in several different ways due to age, sensory impairment, language issues, illiteracy or even a difficulty comprehending information because of emotional factors.
The guidance also deals with recognising the specific requirements of a particular client, such as translation or explaining terminology and the duty of a will writer to refund costs and decline work if needs be.
Paragraph 5.5 of the SWW Code of Practice states: “While it is accepted that Wills and other documents prepared by the Member may be complex in nature and couched in legal language, a Member must be prepared to explain to the vulnerable client terminology used in any such documents and in language that such client is likely to understand at no additional cost and in writing if requested. Failing which the Member shall rescind the contract for the provision of Will Writing Services and refund any fees paid if the vulnerable client so requests.”
The document concludes: “Vulnerable clients should be afforded additional support and it is your duty as a Will Writer to make reasonable adjustments to ensure the vulnerable client can access the same services as a client who is not vulnerable, and is not placed at a disadvantage. Not to do so would be negligent. It is also important that you are aware of the various tests for capacity and your duty to ensure that the client’s you are dealing with possess the requisite capacity to provide you with instructions.”