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Expat Wills

Code of Conduct

As a full member of The Society of Will Writers of the UK clients can be assured that we comply to the following professional Code Of Conduct

The Term Legal Services ONLY applies to services offered in the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom and NOT in the jurisdiction of the United Arab Emirates.

Expat Wills is not a law firm and does not offer either legal advice or legal consultancy services in the United Arab Emirates. Should clients require legal advice it is recommended they engage the services of a government licensed law firm or licensed legal consultant.

  1. Definitions
    In this code of conduct the following words shall have the following meanings:
    • "the Society" shall mean The Society of Will Writers and Estate Planning Practitioners
    • "a Member" shall mean a companion, fellow, member, honorary member, associate or affiliate of the Society
    • "Legal Services" shall mean the provision of Wills, Enduring/Lasting Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, notices of severance, probate advice and other services (subject to Clause 3.6 below) of a legal nature provided by a Member to his/her clients. It shall also mean inheritance tax advice and other tax planning advice in connection with the preparation of Wills
  2. General conduct of business
    1. In the conduct of the Member's business the Member will observe the law of the jurisdiction in which the Member practices and shall not aid his/her clients in the breach thereof nor acquiesce in the knowledge of such breach
    2. A Member shall comply at all times with regulations and guidance issued by the Society from time to time
    3. A Member shall only offer and carry out Legal Services which the Member is competent to carry out and for which the Member carries professional indemnity insurance in accordance with paragraph 2.9 below
    4. A Member shall ensure that at all times he/she keeps him/herself technically competent to advise on the provision of the Legal Services which the Member offers and is fully abreast of developments in his/her areas of professional expertise. To this end the Member shall comply strictly with the rules of the Society's Continuing Professional Development Scheme
    5. In the conduct of the Member's business the Member shall act with integrity, objectivity and courtesy and shall do nothing to bring the name of the Society into disrepute
    6. A Member shall not disclose to any third party information relating to the Member's client's affairs without the consent of that client unless legally required to do so and shall comply with all legislation from time to time in force relating to data protection and money laundering
    7. A Member must display on his/her letterhead a statement that the Member is a member of the Society and supply to the Society a copy of such letterhead and any changes to it
    8. A Member must comply with the Society's annual compliance procedure and make periodic returns as required by the Society
    9. A Member shall not practice unless the Member maintains in force a professional indemnity policy with an approved insurer to the Society's requirements and produces to the Society evidence that such policy is in force
    10. A Member shall have satisfactory arrangements in place for the conduct of the Member's practice in the event of his/her death or prolonged incapacity and shall provide details of such arrangements to the Society
    11. A Member must ensure that the work of all those employed by the Member is satisfactorily supervised and that any agents or consultants of a Member are aware of this Code, agree to comply with it and are adequately and properly trained for the tasks that they perform
    12. A Member shall submit his/her terms of business (in a form approved of or recommended by the Society) to The Member's client before entering into a contract for the supply of Legal Services
    13. If a Member shall become bankrupt or enter into an arrangement with creditors or being a director of a company that is wound up or enters into administration or liquidation (except for the purposes of reconstruction or amalgamation) he/she shall cease to practice and advise the Society
    14. A Member offering to store Wills or other documents for a client shall ensure that they are stored in fire-proof and flood-proof secure premises and that they are adequately insured. A Member offering to store Wills and other documents for the lifetime of a client shall for the protection of the client be prepared to offer alternative storage arrangements (at no further cost to the client) in the event of him/her ceasing to practice for whatever reason
  3. Instructions
    1. Before accepting instructions from a client a Member must set out in writing the terms of the Member's retainer in an engagement letter in a form stipulated or approved by the Society. Such letter must contain the name, address and telephone number of the Member or his/her consultant who will be attending the appointment
    2. A Member must make available to the Member's client before accepting instructions the way in which fees will be calculated, the circumstances in which they might be increased, whether they include VAT and disbursements and whether there will be a cancellation or non-completion charge
    3. A Member must not refuse to accept instructions from any person solely on the grounds of colour, ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation
    4. In cases where instructions are received by a Member to carry out Legal Services in circumstances where a Member does not meet his/her client the Member shall take all reasonable and proper precautions to verify the identity and capacity of the client and that such instructions emanate from the client. This shall not apply in cases where instructions are taken by an employee, consultant or agent of the Member. In all other circumstances where a Member takes instructions from a client the Member shall take reasonable steps to establish the identity of the client. Without prejudice to the foregoing a Member when engaged in a regulated activity as defined by the Money Laundering Regulations 2003 shall comply with such regulations
    5. A Member shall not undertake probate services or estate administration for gain without the consent of the Society
    6. All money received by a Member for a client other than in respect of fees or disbursements shall be held in a bank account(s) separate to that of the Member's business and with no right for the Member's bankers to offset any liabilities accrued on the Member's business account against such separate account(s)
  4. Carrying out Legal Services

    - the term "Legal Services" ONLY applies to services offered in the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom and NOT in the jurisdiction of Emirate of Dubai.

    1. A Member must comply with his/her instructions with reasonable skill, care and expedition appropriate to the need of the client. Where there is any delay the Member must promptly advise the client of the reason for it
    2. Where a matter is beyond a Member's competence the Member must advise the client to seek alternative legal or other advice
    3. A Member must generally display and observe proper standards of professional courtesy
    4. In taking instructions it is the Member's duty to establish that the client is acting freely, without coercion with a full understanding of the transaction and is of testamentary or other appropriate capacity
  5. Complaints
    1. A Member should have in place a written complaints procedure to accord with that recommended by the Society
    2. A Member should ensure that all complaints are dealt with speedily, equitably and sympathetically
    3. If complaints cannot be resolved between the Member and the Member's client within a reasonable time then the Member shall advise the Society of the complaint and will accept the Society's ruling thereon. The Member shall advise the client that he/she has referred the complaint to the Society
  6. Business promotion
    1. A Member may advertise the Member's practice and seek to obtain directly or indirectly clients in any manner and through any medium provided that the good reputation of the Society is not damaged and the British Code of Advertising Practice and other regulatory codes in force from time to time are not breached
    2. In particular any advertising or promotional material shall be truthful, in good taste such as will be unlikely to cause offence to any other person and shall contain no disparaging statements, express or implied, about any other Member
    3. The Society must approve before publication all advertising and promotional material produced by a Member which carries the Society's logo
  7. Disciplinary Procedure
    1. Any breach of this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary proceedings being instigated against the Member
    2. The Society's disciplinary procedures are set forth in its Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures which are deemed to be incorporated herein and which have been seen and agreed to by the Member