Will Writing decision

CILEx and IPS disappointed at Will Writing decision

15 May 2013

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and its regulatory body ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) have today expressed disappointment at the Government’s decision to not accept the recommendation of the Legal Services Board (LSB) to include Will Writing within the scope of regulation. The decision failed to recognise both the evidence provided by the LSB in support of the application, and the attempts over the last decade to voluntarily regulate will writers and educate the public.

CILEx President Nick Hanning said: “The Government’s suggestion of a voluntary code will not guarantee the protection consumers would get compared to making Will Writing a reserved activity. The result of this decision will be an uneven playing field between un-regulated companies and regulated professionals, such as CILEx members; and such a situation can only be contrary to the interests of the public.”

IPS Chair Alan Kershaw agreed: “Voluntary regulation has been attempted before and has not succeeded. It creates confusion by presenting the public with a plethora of varying standards, and offers no redress to consumers who are let down by a person who has opted not to subscribe to published standards of conduct and practice. Consumers deserve Will Writers who are competent, professional, and held to proper standards. Chartered Legal Executives, and other members of CILEx who work in this field, will continue to be subject to the highest training and professional standards, and can be trusted by the public because of the client protection arrangements they must have in place.”

CILEx is a provider of specialist qualifications for Wills and Probate, and earlier this year CILEx and IPS submitted applications to the Legal Services Board to extend the independent practice rights of Chartered Legal Executives to include litigation, conveyancing and probate. Both organisations are pressing the Government to focus on consumer choice, fair competition and access to justice as they continue to review the legal services regulatory framework.