Wills & Probate department receives Law Society accreditation

17 Jun 2014

Osbornes are delighted to announce our accreditation as a member of the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS). This accreditation demonstrates that our probate solicitors follow best practice procedures to meet the highest standards of technical expertise and client service in providing tailored wills and probate advice to all of our clients.

WIQS is designed for practices that are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and offer both wills and probate/estate administration advice.

Jan Atkinson, head of the private client department at Osbornes comments:

“Achieving this accreditation is testament to the specialist advice and guidance we offer clients who come to us needing to make a will or who need assistance with a probate matter. The process of achieving accreditation included the initial applications submission followed by a detailed subsequent assessment of the firm and mandatory training provided by the law society”.

WIQS provides a best practice quality kitemark for wills and estate administration advice that clients can trust.

The scheme firmly sets high client service standards to ensure transparency in process, costs and communications. It also outlines required practices for will drafting, probate and estate administration to help address common risks, errors and inconsistencies that arise in delivering advice.

Client Charter: Why choose a WIQS accredited firm?

The scheme sets out the client charter below which all accredited members are required to commit to.

1 – Understand the options and get advice that meets your needs

  • We will not make any misleading claims about the advantages of making a will, or pressure you into buying more complex advice that is not in your best interests.
  • We will help you understand the issues in preparing a will or seeking probate advice to make a more informed choice from the outset.
  • Our dedicated wills and probate service is tailored to your needs. We will explain the process, options, costs and likely timescales.

2 – Receive a quality service and be kept up-to-date

  • We will provide you with the name(s) of the person(s) responsible for your matter.
  • We will agree how you want us to contact you and how often.
  • We will communicate with you in plain English, explaining any legal terminology.
  • We will reply to your questions within 48 hours or provide a timeframe for more complex issues.
  • We will tell you when unforeseen issues affect the original cost estimate and timeframe and explain the impact.
  • We will treat you with dignity and respect at all times.

3 – Trust practices with WIQS

  • WIQS is only open to law firms or other organisations that are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
  • The Senior Responsible Officer or Head of Department must have at least three years’ experience of will drafting and estate administration.
  • Accredited solicitors and other staff complete mandatory training on the WIQS standard and show compliance through annual re-accreditation and ongoing enforcement checks by the Law Society.
  • If you are not happy with our service or the advice received, contact our Client Care Partner. If you are not happy with our response, you can find further information about progressing your complaint on the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s website – www.sra.org.uk. The Law Society will await a decision from the regulator before taking any action.

To give you further confidence and protect you against fraud, the Law Society’s accreditation process included checking the identity of our practice and all individuals delivering wills and probate advice, regulatory and insurance checks and proof of financial and risk management procedures.

To check that we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and are WIQS accredited by searching for us on the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor website: www.lawsociety.org.uk/findasolicitor.

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