Institute of Professional Will Writers

What Is the Institute of Professional Will Writers?

The Institute of Professional Will Writers (IPW) is a membership body for Will Writers. Founded in 1991, the IPW sets high standards for professionalism through strict guidelines and continuous training and it provides access to qualified, ethical, and reliable will writers, following the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s Code of Practice for consumer protection.

The IPW aims to protect the public by providing a platform for the public to find trustworthy will writers (that are members of the IPW). Its framework includes strict membership requirements, ongoing training, and a strong Code of Practice. By promoting quality and integrity in will writing services, the IPW builds public confidence and protects against unqualified practitioners and unethical practices.

The IPW’s Code of Practice sets ethical guidelines and professional standards for members, covering client care, confidentiality, competence, and integrity. Members must act in clients’ best interests, ensuring transparency and honesty. Membership benefits include access to resources, training, and professional recognition. The IPW also educates the public on the importance of professionally drafted Wills through various outreach activities.

The IPW upholds high standards of professionalism and ethics in will writing. Through its Code of Practice, professional development, and public awareness initiatives, the IPW assures exceptional service and advice for clients, greatly contributing to the overall well-being and protection of individuals and families in matters of estate planning.

Although Will writing is an unregulated industry in England and Wales, the IPW has a curiuus stance on the matter, stating on their website that "It has become established as the recognised professional body regulating and promoting the profession of Willwriting in England, Wales and Northern Ireland".

The Importance of the Institute of Professional Will Writers

The IPW aims to ensure high ethical standards and quality service in the will writing profession.

1. Professional Standards and Ethics: The IPW, affiliated with bodies like the Society of Trust and Estate Planners, aims to set and enforces ethical standards in will writing. It provides a Code of Practice outlining responsibilities and obligations, ensuring accurate, reliable, and ethical services.

2. Continuous Professional Development: The IPW offers training through workshops, seminars, and online courses to keep will writers updated. This continuous learning ensures members stay knowledgeable about legal requirements and best practices, providing clients with top-notch advice and service.

3. Consumer Protection: The IPW ensures consumer safety by offering a platform to find qualified and reputable will writers. It sets rigorous entry requirements, conducts regular audits, and addresses complaints, protecting clients from unqualified or unethical practitioners.

The Institute of Professional Will Writers' Code of Practice

The IPW, regulated by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, has a Code of Practice that is a comprehensive guideline to ensure members maintain high professional and ethical standards, promoting excellence in will writing and protecting.

Core Principles of the Code


1. Client Care: Members prioritise clients' needs, providing clear, accurate, and timely information to foster trust and confidence.

2. Confidentiality: Members safeguard clients' personal information, ensuring it is used only for its intended purpose and complying with legal data protection requirements.

3. Competence: Members must possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and continuous professional development to provide high-quality services.

4. Integrity: Members act with honesty, fairness, and transparency, avoiding conflicts of interest and unethical practices.

The Code also includes requirements for advertising, marketing, handling complaints, and managing conflicts of interest, ensuring members deliver high-quality, ethical, and professional services.

Overall, the IPW's Code of Practice is a framework promoting excellence and consumer protection, demonstrating members' commitment to high-quality, ethical will writing services.

How Many Members Does The Institute of Professional Will Writers Have?

The IPW has a significant membership, demonstrating its dedication to high standards in will writing and excellence. Members benefit from free Will registrations, professional development, and indemnity insurance, fostering a supportive environment for sharing best practices and staying updated on industry developments.

The IPW's strength lies in its diverse group of professionals who share collective knowledge and resources, enhancing service quality. The organisation ensures members stay informed about legal and regulatory updates, maintaining high standards of professionalism and competence through ongoing education.

Overall, the IPW is a leading organisation in will writing, with a strong network that enhances its credibility and provides a platform for members to connect, learn, and grow professionally.

How Does The Institute of Professional Will Writers Benefit Consumers and Ensure Consumer Protection?

The Institute of Professional Will Writers provides numerous benefits to consumers, ensuring they receive reliable, expert advice and safeguarding their assets for future generations. The IPW plays a crucial role in promoting trust and confidence in the will writing profession, protecting consumers’ interests through its stringent standards and comprehensive support.

Access to Qualified Professionals

Professional will writers, who are members of the Institute of Professional Willwriters, are highly trained and adhere to a strict code of practice, ensuring that consumers receive the best possible service. They are required to pass an entrance examination, possess relevant qualifications, and undergo Continuing Professional Development to maintain high standards.

Additionally, each Will written is covered by mandatory Professional Indemnity Insurance, and members comply with the IPW Code of Practice approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

They can assist with applications to register Lasting Powers of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian, helping to avoid delays and potential rejections.

Educational Resources and Guidance

The IPW offers a wealth of educational resources and guidance to help consumers make informed decisions about their estate planning. They help consumers understand the entire writing process for Wills, ensuring that all legal requirements are met and that the Will is tailored to the individual's specific needs.

Promotion of Ethical Conduct and Prevention of Unethical Business Practices

The IPW promotes transparency and ethical conduct within the will writing industry. By setting high standards and providing ongoing training and support to its members, the IPW helps to build consumer confidence in the profession.

Consumers can trust that the members of the IPW will act in their best interests, maintaining the highest level of professionalism and integrity. This assurance is especially important when dealing with sensitive and personal matters such as Wills and estate planning.

Complaint Resolution Service

The IPW offers a complaint resolution service to protect consumers, mediating disputes to address issues fairly and promptly. This service reinforces the commitment to consumer satisfaction and maintains the IPW's reputation in will writing.

Consumers benefit from access to qualified professionals, educational resources, ethical conduct promotion, and reliable advice, safeguarding their assets for future generations.

Alternatives to the Institute of Professional Will Writers

While the Institute of Professional Will Writers is a leading organisation in the field of will writing, there are several alternatives for individuals seeking reliable advice and services for will writing and estate planning. Independent legal professionals and solicitors often work closely with estate planners to provide comprehensive estate planning services.

Independent Will Writers

One alternative is to seek help from independent Will writers who are not members of the IPW. It's up to you to do your research on the company and don't be afraid to ask them why they are not members of the IPW.


Another alternative is to seek help from a firm of solicitors that can handle will writing and estate planning. They should possess approriate knowledge and experience, and should be able to offer comprehensive advice to clients. Regulated by The Soliciotrs Regaution Authority to give you paeace of mind. Be aware, this is an expensive option.

Financial Advisors and Accountants

Seeking assistance from financial advisors or accountants with estate planning expertise can be beneficial. These professionals can offer valuable technical advice on structuring estates in a tax-efficient manner. However, they they gerally lack the legal expertise.

Online Will Writing Services


Online will writing services provide a convenient and cost-effective way to create Wills by guiding individuals through questions and templates. Like most things in life, online services are becoming more popular and it is just a matter of time before writing a Will online is commonplace.

Of course, writing a Will online with a member of a recognised body like the IPW or The Society of Will Writers is a very good option.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to become a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers?

To become a member of the IPW, individuals must meet certain requirements, including:

- Holding a valid professional indemnity insurance policy

- Passing an entry examination

- Adhering to the IPW's Code of Practice

- Demonstrating a commitment to continuing professional development by completing a prescribed number of training hours each year

Are there any ongoing fees or costs associated with being a member of the Institute of Professional Will Writers?

Yes, membership in the IPW requires the payment of an annual subscription fee. This fee covers various benefits and services provided to members, including access to professional development resources, networking opportunities, and support from the IPW's team of experts. Additional fees may apply for certain services or events offered by the other IPW members.

Does the Institute of Professional Will Writers provide any training or educational resources for its members?

The IPW offers extensive training and educational resources to its members. These resources include workshops, seminars, and online courses covering a wide range of topics, such as legal requirements, ethical considerations, and best practices in will drafting. The IPW also regularly updates its members on industry developments and regulatory changes, ensuring they stay well-informed and up-to-date.

How does the Institute of Professional Will Writers ensure that its members adhere to the Code of Practice?

The IPW ensures that its members adhere to the Code of Practice through a rigorous system of regulation and monitoring. This includes requiring members to sign a declaration of commitment to the Code, conducting regular audits and inspections, and implementing a dedicated complaints procedure. Any breaches of the Code are thoroughly investigated, with appropriate disciplinary measures taken if necessary.

Are there any legal ramifications for will writers who are not members of the Institute of Professional Will Writers?

There is no legal requirement for will writers to be members of the IPW. However, membership signifies a commitment to adhering to a high standard of professionalism and ethics. Non-member will writers may not be subject to the same level of regulation and oversight, potentially posing legal risks for clients. Engaging a non-member will writer may result in a lack of protection and recourse in cases of malpractice or negligence.


The Institute of Professional Will Writers maintains high standards in the will writing profession through its strict Code of Practice, professional development opportunities, and consumer protection measures. This ensures members offer reliable services, fostering public confidence and safeguarding interests in estate planning. For those needing help with drafting the IPW is a reputable choice, promoting excellence and integrity in Will writing.

Having an up-to-date Will is crucial to protect your family and assets. The IPW has been promoting excellence in Will writing for over 25 years now.