In this feature consumer codes will writing industry professionalism Testament to quality The CCAS is helping consumers to choose true professionals through organisations such as the Institute of Professional Willwriters, writes Ivy Hughes T he Consumer Codes Approval Scheme[A1] (CCAS) structure dictates an organisation serve as code sponsor overseeing members adherence to strict guidance and consumer protection standards. The Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) are approved by the CCAS board to oversee willwriting members. Sally Brown, IPW chief executive, recently walked TS Today through the lengthy process of becoming an IPW code member. It can take six to nine months for a will writer to become a member, but the timescale benets both consumers and members by: training members; ensuring they have at least 2m in personal indemnity insurance; requiring background checks for those who visit homes; and resolving disputes. Luckily weve never had one complaint go to the external dispute body, Brown says. Weve always been able to resolve them at the rst stage and our complaints levels are minimal. This year we had two, both of which have been resolved to client satisfaction. The IPW is made up of 265 rms and 600 associates. To join the institute, each full and associate member must take a will writing examination issued by the IPW. Most The problem with full members also pass a three-day training course. unregulated will writers is They then have to ensure that all their procedures they are not as well trained comply with the code, including the complaints as our members. Their advice may process, the letter of engagement and price be wrong and, unfortunately, this is transparency provisions. often not discovered until the They must take the examination to show theyre person who made the will has died competent within the profession and that theyre able to be an IPW member and act within the code, says Brown. IPW members are not opposed to rigorous requirements because, as a recognised standard, the CCAS guarantees consumers will be protected. This gives them a competitive advantage over non-members. Our members have to maintain their competencies; there are set levels of continued professional development, so consumers know their adviser is up-to-date with the law and can advise them on topics that are relevant to their personal requirements, Brown adds. Consumers who choose to use will writers that are not members of the IPW put themselves at a greater risk of receiving an invalid or incorrect will. The problem with other unregulated will writers out there is that they are not as well trained as our members, Brown says. Their advice may be wrong and, unfortunately, this is often not found out until the person who has given the instructions to the will writer has died. Using untrained or less knowledgeable will writers may land surviving family members in court when the wishes of the deceased are either invalid or cannot be fullled as intended, because the document is poorly drafted. With training and continuing professional development, will writers can offer the consumer a better service. Consumers using IPW members also have peace of mind from knowing that they are employing a will writer who complies with the CCAS. Credits Published You might also like Ivy Hughes is a communications executive Tuesday 27 January, 2015 CCAS January 2015 at TSI. Images: Gajus / Shutterstock To share this page, click on in the toolbar