The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) has applied to become the key regulatory body for those offering probate services in those countries.
With its focus firmly on Alternative Business Structures (ABSs), the institute hopes to be able to authorise individuals and firms to practice probate, and license ABSs, therefore allowing solicitors and accountants to work together.
It hopes that by being the accepted regulator of this aspect of law, the ICAEW will be able to widen consumer choice and offer protection against rogue traders at the same time.
As always, IWC Ltd welcomes a progression towards regulation for the probate industry. However, there has been a continuing battle among legal professionals, who are regulated by the SRA, to confine the practice solely among its own members; so whether they will in reality welcome an introduction by the accounting industry is unlikely.
It must also be remembered that we as a society are used to seeing cases of fraudulent probate solicitors on a weekly basis, so regulation by a body other than that currently connected to independent probate practitioners is certainly a cause for concern.