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Will writing – Scotland announces regulation

The Scottish government recently announced that it planned to regulate non-lawyer  Will writers.  This is of course a great big step in the right direction, and we can only hope that the English government takes notice, as to date, all campaigning from those of us within the industry, appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

What did concern me though, was the overall indecision about how this industry should be regulated.  In particular, there have been suggestions that Will writing become the sole remit of lawyers, restricting competition and therefore no doubt pushing up prices.

This seems to me to be somewhat extreme and would ignore those of us who are fully recognised members of Will writing bodies and have worked as professional Will writers for years.  Those of us who pride ourselves on offering a first class service to our clients, often when they are at their most vulnerable.  Those of us who know probate law inside out and offer advice based on extensive knowledge and experience on areas including ways to reduce Inheritance Tax and set aside enough money for care home fees.

Why not simply do as other professional organisations do and insist that each Will writer register every one or two years and only grant that registration after the individual (and I think it has to be on an individual basis) fulfils a set of criteria?  This organisation could then also be the referring body and watchdog for any complaints from consumers, barring any Will writer who is proven to have acted unprofessionally?

Stating that Will writing should be solely restricted to practicing lawyers is a knee jerk reaction and one that simply hasn’t been thought through. We must act in the best interests of the consumer, offering practical, sound advice at reasonable prices.

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