The Society of Will Writers amend Code of Practice

The new amendments that have been made to the Society of Will Writers (SWW) Code of Practice, certainly has the intentions of solidifying the current rules and guidance for Society members. Despite will writing being widely criticized for being an unreserved activity, bodies such as the SWW aim to protect consumers as well as the professionals.

Within the new Code of Practice, the issue of complaints is seen to be one of real focus.

What are some of the key changes within the Code of Practice?

In terms of complaints, a written complaints procedure should be issued to every customer before dealing with any serious business. It is also mentioned that the firm are not able to deal with any complaint from a customer, unless it is in writing. One of the key changes to the Code of Practice is that all complaints should be acknowledged as soon as received, and no later than 7 days after. Along with this, a formal response should be provided to a complaint within 14 days — or failing that, no later than 28 days after the complaint was received. If the complaint cannot be resolved with the customer, it is then acceptable to call on the Society of Will Writers to offer intervention.

In terms of equality and customer assurance, one of the most captivating and existing codes of practice that is in place when reading, is the compulsory display of a certificate of compliance with the Code of Practice. This guidance helps to ensure that the clients are operating with a regulated firm, and upon request, a client can receive a copy of the code of practice free of charge. In terms of compliance, the company that is dealing with clients, must also provide a copy of the key contract terms to the customer which consists of: delivery, payment, and cancellation rights.

Equality and fair practice is also a big topic in the code of practice; the document stating that one must not refuse a customer based on sex, gender, race etc. The informing of the client about the regulations and procedures seems to be something the Code of Practice is keen to enforce, which is why the topic of complaints is stressed.

Why is this code important?

The current standings in terms of regulation within the will writing profession is limited and non-compulsory. Given the current circumstances in that will writing is not a reserved activity, it would be highly beneficial for any firm or will writing practice out there to follow such guidance provided by the SWW or similar body. Abiding by rules and guidance such as the Code of Practice would help to put customers at ease and also help to build a more reputable, assuring business.

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