Professional Standards Board sharpens “blunt stick”

In this edition of the Today’s Wills and Probate podcast host David Opie speaks with SWW Professional Standards Board member Nick Ash about plans to beef up their oversight of Society of Will Writers members.

In this discussion Nick provides insight into the proposed changes to the Code of Practice Oversight and Governance and Complaints Procedures, announced at the recent SWW Conference and which are due to be implemented in 2024.

Despite what might be considered an enviable record, having expelled just 2 members in the last 2 years Nick describes the current powers of the PSB as bit like a “blunt stick.” Simply expelling members currently “doesn’t help the consumer… doesn’t help the member get better, (and) doesn’t help the society” he says.

The new powers will enable the PSB to widen the scope of their complaints investigations and will include mis-selling and misleading advertising, and individuals bringing the profession into disrepute going forward. A 3 tier disciplinary structure will also be introduced with individuals and firms named and shamed where there is failure to engage with remedial action.

The discussion also explores the recent launch of the Competition and Markets Authority investigation into will writing and pre-paid probate, which raises concerns around misleading advertising, unfair contract terms and pressure selling and coercion. Listen in to the discussion in full here ( and if you’re not already, subscribe today to hear all the latest news and views across the wills and probate sector:

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About The Society of Will Writers

The Society of Will Writers is a non-profit making self-regulatory organisation whose primary objectives are the advancement, education and ethical standards within the will writing profession.

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