The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) has attempted to fill the void left by the government’s refusal to make introducing a new code of practice for will writers by introducing their own.
Moving forward members of STEP will be required to work within the new codes of practice, as the organisation looks to introduce new standards of transparency and service to the sector, with the idea that will writers abiding by them will appear far more distinguished than unregulated writers.
Talking about the new code of practice, which is due to be launched from the 1st April this year, STEP president, Geoffrey Shindler said: “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 a 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 you prepare your will.”
The seven page code of practice, which will focus on areas such as professional indemnity, conflicts of interest, qualifications of will writer and other important service factors, is not the only code of practice out there, as currently the Institute of Professional Will-writers (IPW) and the Society of Will Writers, also having their own in place.
This is bound to create arguments against STEP’s theory that they are filling a vacuum but surely anything that is attempting to improve the service a client gets in relation to any legal field can only be a positive thing.
1. Pixabay; Janet Gooch; https://pixabay.com/en/writing-quill-books-1043622/