The profession of Will Writing is unregulated. Something that often confuses people. This means that you don’t need a solicitor to write your Will. You may choose to write your Will yourself, although I wouldn’t advise it.
In this article I share 5 reasons why SLS Wills and More make a wise appointment when it comes to choosing the firm to write your Will.
- STEP Qualified Will Writer. Full TEP.
To many people STEP will mean nothing but they are considered the leading authority when it comes to training and professional standards within estate planning and many solicitors and Will writers undertake training with them.
STEP, according to their own website “is the global professional association for those advising families across generations. Our mission is to inspire confidence in families planning their assets across generations by setting and upholding high professional standards, informing public policy, promoting education, and connecting practitioners globally to share knowledge and best practice.”
To explain further, as a trade body within the profession there are different levels of membership and each denotes experience and understanding. Again, from the STEP website they have described their Full Member status of TEP as “Our highest level of membership, Full Members represent the most senior practitioners in the industry. Full Members have exclusive use of the TEP designation and the STEP logo, to enhance their profile in the industry and promote their specialist knowledge to both clients and colleagues. Full Members are also eligible to stand for Council and Chair on Regional Committees.”
As a full member of STEP and being able to use the designation TEP, our clients can rest assured knowing that they are getting expert advice about the planning of their estate and in writing their Will.
- Fully Insured. £2.5m
The second reason to trust SLS in writing your Will is that as a mandatory requirement of being a member of another trade association (The Society of Will Writers) I am required to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to a minimum of £2m. My policy extends beyond this to £2.5m and this covers my business in the event of any issues, much like car insurance is in place to protect road users.
Take solace in the fact that I have never made a claim on my insurance and have been working in the profession for over 30 years.
- Over 30 years in practice.
This brings me nicely onto my professional experience. For many ladies, talking about age is a taboo subject but when it comes to professional experience it provides a huge level of confidence. With experience comes the expectation that the professional in question has vast amounts of experience and in my case this is true. I have seen thousands of clients over the years and have dealt with all manner of cases. One thing that it is important to note is that just because someone has been practicing for so long, doesn’t mean that they are ‘an expert’ and this should be weighed up in conclusion with other factors like professional qualifications etc. During my time within the profession there have been a number of legislative changes and In being a member of STEP and the SWW I have to be on top of this to keep my professional standing. As such I undertake at least 30 hours of professional development (courses and training) every year. Simply relying on my experience, for me, is not good enough. My clients rightly expect 30 years of experience and training and I will not disappoint.
- Associate member of the Society of Will Writers.
As well as being a member of STEP and holding their highest professional accreditation, I am also a member of the SWW. There are a number of hoops that I have to jump through to maintain my membership which is not necessary for any practitioner in our field. I continue to maintain my membership because it means that should my service eve fall below the standards my clients expect, a complaint can be lodged with the SWW. To date, this has never happened and I strive to ensure it will not, but it provides clients peace of mind knowing that I have a regulator (adhere to their code of practice).
- Sit on the SWW’s Professional Standards Board.
Simply being a member of both STEP and the SWW is not enough for me. I also chose to put myself forward to sit on the SWW’s Professional Standards Board where my responsibilities extend to helping advise the SWW on how we can improve standards across the industry. I often deliberate on complaints and act as a mentor for less experienced or new Will Writers.
Some people work to live. I really enjoy my work. It has entertained me for 30 years and knowing that I have helped thousands of clients to protect their estates and more importantly their loved ones is why I do what I do.
Hopefully this will give you the confidence to understand how SLS Wills and More can assist you and what makes us qualified to do so.
I will close by adding that I have recently set up a professional group where I assist other professionals and support them with their more complicated cases. Should any fellow professionals come across my blog and would like to know more, please do get in touch.