To become a member of the Institute applicants must:
1) Complete a membership application form (which can be completed on-line here)
2) Make payment of an annual membership fee (which can be paid by debt or credit card when completing the application form on-line
3) Submit a Disclosure & Barring Service disclosure (or Disclosure Scotland) by providing a check completed within the last 12 months or by completing an application form available by contacting the Membership Manager
4) If applying for Full membership, submit company documentation to confirm compliance with the Institute's Code of Practice.
5) Successfully complete the Institute's entrance examination or an alternative as described below.
Examinations are held quarterly. The examination consists of a 1½ hour written paper and a role play taking Will instructions and a Will drafting exercise. For details of our next IPW and ISPW examinations, please see the Diary.
Anyone wishing to join the Institute who has at least 5 years of experience within the Willwriting sector can elect to complete 4 written assignments.
Applicants are required to select 4 of their recent clients whose advised solutions demonstrate the competence of the applicant. It is suggested that these case studies should include a single person, a young couple with young children and an elderly couple wanting to protect their estate.
For each case the applicant is required to submit;
a copy of the client instruction sheet
a copy of the Will(s) and any other documents prepared for the client(s)
a written commentary of the issues surrounding the client and the advice given and the reasons for the rejection of any particular advice if appropriate.
Before submitting any copy documentation the applicant should remove any information which enables the client(s) and anyone named in their documents from being identified – by removing surnames and first parts of addresses.
All four assignments must be submitted in total and at the same time.
Exemptions from either of the above assessments are available to anyone who:
- has a current practicing certificate from the Law Society (or the Law Society in Scotland) or a certificate which has lapsed within the last 6 months and can demonstrate that they have experience in Willwriting in the last 3 years or in the period since they obtained their practicing certificate if this is less
- has achieved at the Certificate in Will Preparation with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and can demonstrate that they have experience in Willwriting in the last 3 years or in the period since they achieved their qualification if this is less
- has achieved at least ILEX Level 3 in either Law of Wills & Succession or Probate Practice and can demonstrate that they have experience in Willwriting in the last 3 years or in the period since they achieved their qualification if this is less
- has achieved a qualification of at least equivalent level to the above as approved by the Institute and can demonstrate that they have experience in Willwriting in the last 3 years or in the period since they achieved their qualification if this is less