The Law Society Wills Quality Scheme - Launch October 2013
The Law Society Wills Quality Scheme - Launch in October 2013
We've had the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), and now it's time for the law Society Wills Quality Scheme (WQS), which will be launched at the end of October 2013.
So what is the WQS?
It's another quality scheme for SRA regulated firms that specialise in Will Writing, Probate & Estate Administration work.
Like the CQS, this scheme's make up is similar in that it has a Protocol to follow, and is built around a set of "Core Practice Management Standards (CPMS)." The scheme also has a Client Charter for members to follow.
If firms already have accreditation with Lexcel, then the Law Society will deem that they already comply with the Core Practice Management Standards. If firms are members of the CQS then some of the Core Practice Management Standards will apply, but not all. The Law Society have a table that firms considering membership can check to see the differences between the CQS and WQS Core Practice Management Standards.
The protocol part of the scheme consists of several key areas;
Part A - Will Drafting
Part B - General Estate Administration
Part C - Special Aspects of Administration
Part D - Advising on variation of dispositions
Part E - Claims under the Inheritance Act 1975
Part F - General Practice policies
Part G - Will drafting practice policies
Part H - Estate administration practice policies
The stated aims of this quality scheme are;
- To clearly differentiate a solicitors' firm from non-solicitor will writers and other service providers
- To benefit from the training programmes built around the scheme's robust Protocol
- To attain the quality mark and be recognised for expertise, experience and highest levels of client service
- To use the trusted Law Society mark of quality to help consumers identify and choose an advisor with confidence in the integrity of the practice
Of course, as with all Law Society Quality Schemes, there is a membership fee involved, and it will be up to firms whether the fee is worth the administration needed to comply with the scheme, something that non - solicitor firms will not have to do. Also, unlike the Conveyancing Quality Scheme, there are not yet any market drivers such as panel memberships which will exclude firms if they decide not to join, so it will be interesting to see the take up of the scheme once it is in operation.