On Thursday 26th October the Women in Wills Virtual Webinar took place, discussing all things risk and due diligence. Always an important topic but potentially even more so given the recent SRA updates on risk and compliance, and anti-money laundering.

Given the difference in regulation across the sector from solicitors and will writers a lot of the conversation stemmed around best practice. What to do to make sure you are protecting yourself from fraud, anti-money laundering, by running insolvency checks, checking and verifying ID, taking suitable notes on advice given etc.

One specific example that arose, was the one where due to lack of regulations and requirements, a person may write a will for someone (with no ID checks etc.), they then bring in family or friends for wills also.  In doing so, they are creating law firm or will writer trust, so that when you pass them over for a property purchase to the conveyancing team, those checks may not happen, (when they should) and subsequently fraud can occur.

Emma Baddaley also highlighted the importance of ensuring thorough insolvency checks are undertaken, and the importance of both. EstateSearch recommend the following:

  • Insolvency search including registered Bankruptcy Orders, Independent Voluntary Arrangements and County Court Judgements.
  • A HM Land Registry K16 Official Bankruptcy Search of Land Charges Registers against the named person including registered Bankruptcy Orders and Petitions for Bankruptcy.

A special thanks to Emma Baddaley for hosting the event, and our speaker Sarah Keegan from the CS Partnership.

Thank you also to our sponsors Estatesearch and Arken.legal for supporting Women in Wills.