Recent Scottish legislation has been passed to try and regulate will writers. Non-lawyers can legally write wills for clients, but new measures aim to raise basic standards.
There is concern that there have been rogue will writers practising in Scotland who have provided over expensive wills and have harassed consumers through cold calling. It is also thought that many are poorly trained and the new proposals are aimed at addressing this.
Non-lawyers can still write wills, but they will need to have professional indemnity insurance in place and it is also hoped that English firms giving advice on the basis of English law will soon be a thing of the past.
The Fellowship of Professional Willwriters and Probate Practitioners has applied to become the official regulator. An English organisation, it is geared towards improving professionalism of will writers in England and is looking to expand its influence into Scotland as well. Members must have professional indemnity insurance and their status is reviewed each year.
The president and CEO, Rita Leat, said:
“The problems we feel consumers are facing in England and Wales are the same problems facing consumers in Scotland in terms of not having the choice of people they can go to for legal services and not necessarily having the protection a regulated industry can afford them.”