New Scottish legislation encourages will writers to procure PI insurance

Thanks to recently enacted legislation in Scotland, will writers will soon be subject to more stringent regulations that may require them to procure professional indemnity insurance in the future; while it is still legal for non-lawyers to pen wills for third parties, the newly instituted measures will result in higher standards overall.

One reason cited that business liability insurance has gained in importance is particularly hair-raising concern that Scottish rogue will drafters have been placing harassing cold calls in order to drive business, then overcharging their customers for legal instruments.  There are also reports rolling in that the will writers have insufficient or poor training, and the newly-proposed legislative regulations were drafted in direct response to these selfsame issues.

Under the new regulations, non-lawyers are still permitted to draft wills for clients but will now need to have some sort of small business insurance coverage.  Additionally the newly instituted rules are designed to discourage English firms from offering legal advice from the perspective of English common law instead of Scottish law.

While an English organisation, the Fellowship of Professional Willwriters and Probate Practitioners, has come forward and submitted an application to be considered the official regulator under the new laws, the FPWPP’s mission is to increase professionalism in regards to the drafters of wills not only in England but additionally in Scotland.  Any members of the Fellowship are required to be fully covered under a PI insurance policy and are subject to rigorous annual performance reviews.

Rita Leat, president and chief executive of the Fellowship, released a statement in which she commented that the problems English and Welsh consumers are currently facing match the problems of Scottish ones in regards to the lack of any regulation in the legal services industry.  Ms Leat intimated that her organisation was well-equipped to handle such a regulatory responsibility despite being based to the south of Scotland.

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