Before you make a complaint to The Society of Will Writers about a member, you should give the Will Writer (member) an opportunity to address your concerns; we expect members and firms to investigate any complaints they receive about their services.
Write to the proprietor, managing director or consultant concerned), set out clearly what your complaint is and, where appropriate, explain what steps you would like them to take to resolve the problem. If, between you, you can’t resolve the problem, then you can complain to The Society of Will Writers to see if we should look into the matter.
Currently anyone can call themselves a Will Writer even if they have had no formal training and don’t belong to a professional body. The Society of Will Writers can only help or get involved in your complaint if the Will Writer is one of our members or is purporting to be a member of the Society.
The Society is proud of its members and the work they do to help the general public in planning for the future, but sometime problems do arise between client and Will Writer.
Most of the time these issues can be resolved by talking to your Will Writer, however there may be occasions when these problems cannot be resolved or that the nature of the problem is such that you need to contact the Society for help.
RESOLVING PROBLEMS WITH YOUR WILL WRITER
If the Will Writer or the company is registered with the Society of Will Writers, please contact us and we will consider whether we can become involved.
A member of the Society of Will Writers has to comply with the Code of Practice, and if your complaint is that you believe a member has deviated from this Code, please contact us.
If your problem relates to a commercial dispute (including the fees you’ve been charged), you may only be able to find a solution through the courts. Although we may be able to deal with certain issues of professional conduct related to the dispute, only the courts can pass judgement on contract terms.
If your problem relates to a criminal matter, you should ask the police (or other relevant authority) to investigate it first. Please let us know that you have reported the matter because, if the Will Writer is convicted, we may need to take further action. However, we can’t say whether an individual has committed a criminal offence.
WILL WRITING and ESTATE PLANNING MATTERS
If your problem is a matter of poor work or professional conduct, please contact us and we will consider whether we can become involved.
Firms offering investment business advice have to be authorised. The current authorising bodies are: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for what is called mainstream investment business; and a number of designated professional bodies.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY WILL WRITER?
All our member firms have to investigate complaints they receive from clients about the service they have provided, so before you make a complaint to the Society, contact your Will Writer to give them an opportunity to address your concerns.
Write to the proprietor, managing director or principal to explain your complaint, and if appropriate, say what you would like them to do to resolve the problem.
HOW DO I MAKE A COMPLAINT TO THE SOCIETY OF WILL WRITERS?
If you can’t resolve the problem satisfactorily, you can either fill in the on or use one of the alternatives listed at the end of this information sheet and we’ll see whether we can become involved.
We may not be able to help if you have nothing to support your allegation, so please send us (with your complaint form) copies of any relevant supporting letters and other documents. If you have a clear idea how your complaint might be resolved, tell us on the form.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
We will write to let you know we have received your complaint and will pass it to an assessor.
If it appears the Will Writer may have failed to comply with The Society of Will Writers standards, guidance or regulations, we will consider the best way to deal with it. Not all complaints however lead to the Will Writer being disciplined; for example, if the Will Writer has made a simple mistake.
If we can’t help, we will tell you as soon as possible. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the problem, we may:
1. offer conciliation if we think there is something that can be done to resolve your complaint; or
2. decide that it would be best to deal with the subject matter of the complaint by investigating it further to see whether the Society should discipline the Will Writer.
CAN MY COMPLAINT BE RESOLVED THROUGH CONCILIATION?
If the assessor believes your complaint might be resolved through conciliation, it does not mean that it is less serious than other complaints. It means that a different approach is more likely to meet your needs.
The conciliator will try to help reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both you and your Will Writer. If the Will Writer is prepared to take the steps you have outlined, or suggests alternatives which you agree with, we will try to resolve the matter without using our formal disciplinary procedures.
Although we do not have the power to award compensation, it may nevertheless be possible to agree a financial settlement through conciliation. If we resolve your complaint through conciliation, we will close the matter and there will be no disciplinary consequences for the Will Writer. If conciliation does not resolve the problem, we will see whether the Society should investigate the matter further.
HOW WILL THE SOCIETY INVESTIGATE THE COMPLAINT?
If an assessor believes the complaint should be investigated, we will tell you which aspects of the matter we can deal with and pass the file to a case manager who will look into your complaint in detail. If there are any matters we can’t deal with, we will explain why. We will also tell you if we need further information before we can start investigating.
The case manager will ask for the Will Writers version of events and will usually invite you to comment on their response. At this stage, it helps if you and the Will Writer make all relevant correspondence available to each other. Our investigation concentrates on whether the Society should discipline the Will Writer.
To make a complaint please use the
Or use the contact information as follows:
By post to:
The Society of Will Writers