If a Will Writer is a member of the Society of Will Writers and Estate Planning Practitioners, you may expect that they abide by the three compulsory requirements of Membership.
These include ongoing training and development, code of practice compliance, and a comprehensive insurance policy to cover their estate planning activities.
Choosing a qualified and knowledgeable Will Writer based on their track record, their expertise and how they work, should be of paramount importance.
There are four considerations you should keep in mind when choosing a Will Writer.
1. TRAINING, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE OF WILL WRITING
The first mandatory requirement of being a SWW Member is Continuous Professional Development (CPD) mainly but not exclusively through the Society’s College of Will Writing. As Estate Planning Practitioners, all SWW Members are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours CPD a year which ensures their knowledge is up to date. Be sure to check the academic and professional qualifications your Will Writer has received as part of their training so you know you can trust the advice they are giving and that it is up to date.
2. ADHERENCE TO THE CODE OF PRACTICE, INCLUDING THE 10 MEMBERSHIP PRINCIPLES.
Will Writing is currently not regulated by statute, but that does not mean that professional standards are not imposed. Ensure that your Will Writer, is working with a high sense of duty and integrity. Society Members work in accordance with a methodical process whereby client care is of utmost priority, as set out in the Code of Practice. Find out whether your Will Writer is Code compliant by, amongst other things, checking if they display the Society’s ‘Safe to do business with’ logo.
3. HOLD A MINIMUM OF £2M PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE.
It is important to check that your Will Writer has Professional Indemnity Insurance in place, and that their insurance is up to date. Once you are satisfied that your Will Writer is a Member of the SWW, it is advisable to discover what, if any Document Storage services they can offer. Secure and dedicated Will Storage ensures that a Will can be discovered when it is needed. As such, Document Storage is as important as the process of drawing up the Will in the first place.
4. TERMS OF BUSINESS AND COMPANY LITERATURE.
To check the Membership status of a Will Writer or Estate Planning Practitioner, please contact the Society of Will Writers on 01522 687 888 or visit their Find A Member page. The friendly and helpful team would be able to provide verifiable Membership information of any Member, as well as answer any other questions you may have.
16 December 2020
The views expressed in this blog do not in any way constitute advice and are specific to the date noted. As time passes the facts can change and readers should consult their adviser for up to date advice on any matters covered within the blog. Invest Southwest offers an initial review, which is free of charge, however long it takes. From this we will be able to confirm how we can help and give you an opportunity to decide if you would like us to. Thereafter, we will provide you with detailed recommendations and exact costs. Please note that we promise not to levy any kind of fee unless we can demonstrate a benefit to you.