STEP ‘steps’ up Will writing regulation
The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is to launch a code for Will writing in an attempt to better protect the estate and assets of clients.
The move comes after the government’s rejected calls to regulate the industry despite claims by the Legal Services Board (LSB) that lives are being ‘”seriously damaged” because of inexperienced and ill prepared Will writers.
Under the code STEP practitioners must:
- Demonstrate openness and transparency, integrity and competency
- Avoid conflicts of interest
- Clearly explain the cost implications
- Manage clients’ private information appropriately.
Geoffrey Shindler is the STEP President:
“STEP has introduced the code because Will writing is not a regulated activity in England and Wales. Anyone, regardless of training or experience can set themselves up as Will writer and charge you a fee.
“The code ensures that if you go to a STEP member to draft your Will, you can be confident that they are properly educated, operate to the highest professional competencies and to the highest possible ethical standards, both in the way they approach you and in the way they prepare your Will.”
Linda Cummins, Head of Wills and Probate at Goldsmith Williams, is a qualified solicitor of over 12 years. She is a member of STEP and the SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly) and specialises in all aspects of Wills, Probate, Estate Planning and Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection work.
Content correct at time of publication