ICAEW backs off in probate battle

The ICAEW has backed off from its fight to enable accountants to offer
probate services over fears of onerous regulation and costs.

In this morning’s ICAEW council meeting, Vernon Soare, executive director
professional standards, said that the decision to end its fight was made because
of warnings that probate work was ‘regulated in a very intrusive way’ by the
Legal Services Board.

The institute would also be liable for a share of £19m in startup costs and
contributions to the board.

But Soare stressed that accountants currently providing probate services up
to the point at which a solicitor is required, could continue to do so.

The institute has fought for a numbers of years for members to be able to
obtain a grant of probate on behalf of clients, which previously only solicitors
could undertake.

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