Preparing a will can be stressful as you make what may be hard decisions. Having a competent will preparer assisting you can remove much of this worry as they will explain the process of preparing a will clearly, give you the high-quality advice and consistently working in your best interests.
The STEP Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales: protecting you
STEP has introduced the Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales to give you peace of mind that your will preparer is doing the best possible job in helping you plan for the future.
The Code is a set of ethical principles that demonstrate openly the standard of transparency and service you can expect from a STEP member preparing your will. Will writing is not officially regulated in the England and Wales, however by using a will preparer who is subject to the STEP Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales, you will know they are taking all the necessary actions to plan for the future of your assets.
- STEP Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales (PDF 175KB)
- STEP Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales Guide for the Public (PDF 110KB)
Making a will - quality and assurance from a STEP professional - video
Why is it important to have a valid will?
Having a will gives you the power to decide who your assets pass on to on your death. If you die without making a valid will, statutory rules will apply that may see your assets pass to people you never intended. Most wills are straightforward and inexpensive to prepare but it is important to use a reputable and qualified practitioner as a badly drafted will can have unintended consequences that may lead to difficulties for your loved ones after you pass away.
What is STEP’s new Code for Will Preparation in England and Wales?
The Code comprises a set of principles that are in place to benefit you when seeking a professional to prepare your will. The Code is not a procedure for how a professional should prepare your will but it does provide a framework to help ensure they get all the relevant information from you and prepare a will that reflects your wishes when you die.
How will the Code benefit me as a client?
The Code will provide you with an understanding of the sorts of issues your will preparer should discuss with you, and most importantly will provide you with a reassurance that when you choose to use a STEP member you are working with a professional advisor who conducts their business in an open and transparent manner and behaves with integrity.
How will I know if my will preparer is subject to the Code?
If your will preparer is a member of STEP in England and Wales, they are bound to adhere to the Code as a condition of membership. If your will preparer identifies themselves as a STEP member and is in STEP’s online directory of members, you will know that they are subject to the Code. A special logo has been created for practitioners who adhere to the code to use on their branding and corporate materials. If you see this logo, you will know they are compliant with the Code.
What if my will preparer is not meeting the standards of the Code?
If you feel your will preparer has not met the standards set out in the Code, you can contact STEP to lodge a complaint. All complaints are taken seriously and will be investigated and dealt with according to STEP’s disciplinary processes.