21 November 2019
Making a Will can be a tricky business, which is why we always recommend having your Will professionally written by either a solicitor or Will writer which could be found through a professional body. Understandably, some people want to use a service they know they can trust. For this reason, there are a few professional bodies in the UK which help protect clients and educate the public on making Wills.
The main benefit to using a professional Will writing service is that the legal costs are covered if a Will is challenged. Furthermore, services that are members of a professional body tend to be held to greater account than those who operate independently. This means that if you’re unhappy with the service, the process for making a complaint is made easier.
The two main professional bodies for Will writing in the UK are the Society of Will Writers and the Institute of Professional Willwriters.
The Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) was established 25 years ago and is currently based just outside of Birmingham in Halesowen. The main difference between the Institute of Professional Willwriters and the Society of Will Writers is that the former is owned and run by its members. This enables members to vote on crucial issues, including codes of practice and general policies.
Also including the Institute of Scottish Professional Willwriters, the Institute of Professional Willwriters aims to maintain high standards within the Will writing industry and protect the interests of people making Wills. By principle, all its members are qualified to write Wills and similar documents, have at least £2m Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability insurance cover, and they have passed a DBS check.
Many of the Institute of Professional Willwriters members – of which there are currently 277 – offer home visits and a fixed fee, making the Will writing process much simpler for their clients.
The Society of Will Writers is a non-profit organisation which has the aim of educating the wider public about Will writing and maintaining ethical standards within the industry.
Established in 1994 in Lincoln, the Society of Will Writers is committed to helping more people learn about the need for Wills. They also help people search for trustworthy Will writing services in the local area. By choosing a Will writing service through the Society of Will Writers, people can be better protected against indemnity and malpractice.
The Society of Will Writers has a clear ethos that it doesn’t favour solicitors over non-solicitors as all of its members are held to the same standards. Furthermore, all its members are under instruction to inform people making Wills of the importance of appointing guardians, a facet of the process which can be overlooked. More broadly, the Society of Will Writers currently abides by ten fundamental principles, which are as follows:
As of November 2019, the Society of Will Writers has over 1,600 members across the UK. Members local to you can be found using this tool on their website:
Find A Member
Professional Will writing services can be a great help to people looking to make a Will as they provide the added security that you’ll be getting a quality service. Organisations such as the Society of Will Writers and the Institute of Professional Will Writers also do invaluable work to educate people on the importance of writing Wills and how leaving gifts to charities can make a huge difference.
For more information on the differences between Will writers and solicitors, check out our blog from earlier this year.