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Trade body launches code of ethics for will writers

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners has launched a code for will preparation in England and Wales.

The ethical code provides clients with a list of considerations that a will drafter must consider when preparing a will.

The Government has rejected calls to regulate will writing despite the Legal Services Board claiming lives are being “seriously damaged” without regulation.

Under the code, practitioners are expected to demonstrate openness and transparency, integrity and competency in managing clients’ affairs.

The range of standards that practitioners must adhere to under the code include avoiding conflicts of interest, clearly explaining cost implications to clients and managing clients’ private information appropriately.

The new code will take effect from April 1 and will apply to all Step members in England & Wales who prepare wills.

Step is the worldwide professional association for practitioners dealing with family inheritance and succession planning.

Step President Geoffrey Shindler says: “Step has introduced the code because will writing is not a regulated activity in England & 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 they prepare your will.”

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  1. Thomas Stansfield 17th January 2014 at 11:08 am

    Great to be able to provide consumer with more confidence through transparency. Our code of practice has been doing this for years. The Society of Will Writers

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