heir, Inherit, Power of Attorney, Probate, Wills

Panorama expose stirs the pot

The Financial Times Adviser reports that The Will Writing Company is refuting claims made by Panorama’s broadcast last night (Monday 9 August) which exposed the lack of regulation of the willwriters industry. 

The Will Writing Company has hit back at the BBC Panorama programme that widely criticised unlicensed will-writers and a number of will-writing firms for unfair and unethical practices.

Not all will-writing companies were like those that were exposed on the programme claimed the Will Writing Company.

The documentary focused on three firms and highlighted the lack of standards that many will-writing companies subscribe to.

The Will Writing Company said it welcomed the program and as a founding member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers (IPW) since 1990 it recognised early on that proper training and ethical procedures would have to be an essential part of the industry.

It said the Panorama programme took the view that people should only go to a solicitor for will planning and should avoid professional will writers.

The Will Writing Company said solicitors actually need no personal development or qualifications in this area after university.

A member of the IPW has to demonstrate continuing professional development much the same as a financial adviser to retain their professional status.

Panorama refused to accept comment from IPW.

Tom Gormanly, managing director at The Will Writing Company, said: “Of course every industry will have people within it that will attract criticism, some wholly justified as in last night’s programme.

“But the tighter the controls and the better the training the less likelihood that anything untoward will happen.”

Mr Gormanly said his message to financial advisers was clear, not all will writers were the same and if you choose to use the service of one of them, just make sure they are a member of the IPW.


Here at Morrish Solicitors our Wills, Probate and Elderly Client department consists entirely of qualified solicitors who have specialist training in this particular area of law.  They each undergo set units of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Training every year and are active members of Solicitors For The Elderly, Help The Aged and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners in the region. 

Solicitors are highly regulated for many reasons, including that the bonds of trust existing between a solicitor and client must, by their nature, be above suspicion.  The Solicitors Regulation Authority ensures that solicitors meet those high standards of trust and, where they fail, are subject to strict and just retribution. 

The public, and particularly the elderly, the dying and – yes – the dead, deserve to know their trust is well placed.

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