Will Writing regulation

23 April 2012

Statement by IPS Chief Executive, Ian Watson, on the regulation of will writing and administration services:

“ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) and The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) welcome the clear decision by the LSB to start the process for making will writing and probate and administration services reserved activities. We recognise this is the best available way to resolve anomalies created by the present limited scope of regulation in this area and are already preparing applications for probate rights. These would introduce voluntary regulation of will writing and administration of estates for CILEx members providing those services.

“IPS already assures the competence of Chartered Legal Executives and other CILEx members providing wills, probate and administration services through the CILEx qualifications , however CILEx and IPS agree with the LSB conclusion that voluntary regulation cannot address consistently the risks which consumers face when they buy will writing, probate or estate administration services.

“The risks around will writing require preventative measures because failings at this stage may not come to light in the client’s life-time; and the risk of loss and distress to beneficiaries through the administration process can be as serious as in other legal work which is protected by reservation.

“The CILEx approach to regulation of these services will be outcomes focused and risk based. Its regulatory model will not be limited to those of its members currently providing these services, but will enable the current variety of service provision to continue, where the providers are able to demonstrate they have appropriate arrangements in place to deliver competent and ethical service to their customers.

“We look forward to working with the LSB as they develop their proposals and we develop our applications, to ensure we will be ready and able to provide proportionate and targeted regulation of providers when reservation is introduced.”