Response to LSB’s recommendation that will-writing activities be reserved
ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) and The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives have issued the following statements relating to the Legal Services Board’s final decision on will-writing, estate administration and probate activities.
Welcoming the LSB’s announcement, Alan Kershaw, Chairman of ILEX Professional Standards (IPS) said: “We recognise the case for regulation of will writing. The consequences of a poorly drafted will are significant, with far-reaching consequences which, for some families, may be disastrous. The public have a right to expect that high standards will be assured and the evidence adds up to a clear case for this activity to become reserved.
“However IPS believes the LSB’s recommendation does not go far enough. There is a danger that failing to make estate administration a reserved activity risks repeating the weakness of the existing position where only one part of the wills and probate process is reserved. While we recognise that fraudulent behaviour can be addressed by means other than regulation, the need for competence and probity is no less in relation to the administration of estates than will writing.
“This decision will make it harder to assure the right level of competence in will writers. It is likely that public and consumer protection will be compromised if the result is that less competent and professional providers shift to estate administration - the part of the process which is most profitable, and where the need for client protection measures is greatest. IPS is concerned that the price advantage for unregulated providers will be accentuated, to the detriment of the public. “
In support, Chief Executive of CILEx, Diane Burleigh OBE, said: “CILEx is the natural home for specialty lawyers and on its behalf IPS is applying for CILEx to be designated as a regulator for will writers. We are confident our regulatory arrangements will be sufficiently flexible to assure the competence and character of will writers and also including those providing probate and estate administration services.”
You can read the full LSB announcement on the LSB website. (PDF)
Note to editors
- The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives is the professional and representative body for around 20,000 trainee and practising Chartered Legal Executive lawyers across England and Wales.
- Chartered Legal Executives can become partners in a law firms, judges or advocates in open court.
- Since 1989, over 92,500 people have pursued a successful career in law through vocational learning with The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
- The Chartered Institute is unique in being a non-graduate route to qualification as a lawyer, although graduates are welcomed and the Graduate Fast Track Diploma gives law graduates intending to practice law a more affordable and viable alternative to the LPC.
- 74% of The Chartered Institute’s members are women and 24% of The Chartered Institute’s students are from a BAME background (compared to 7.9% for the UK population as a whole).
- The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives opens up access to a career as a lawyer to all. 82% of members do not have a parent who attended university, and only 2% of members have a parent who is a lawyer.
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- ILEX Professional Standards Limited (IPS) is the independent regulator of members of The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. It oversees the education, qualification and practice standards of all CILEx members and promotes proper standards of professional and personal conduct.
- IPS was set up in 2008. It is part of the CILEx Group but has its own Board of Directors to ensure its independence. The board comprises four independent members, who are not lawyers, and three professional members who are Chartered Legal Executives. It is led by Alan Kershaw, one of the Board’s independent members.
- Further details on IPS can be found on the website or call +44 (0) 1234 845 770. Media should contact the CILEx Press Office on +44 (0) 1234 845 710 or email us.