Keeping members informed of developments as we explore opportunities for members to provide a broader range of services that meet the regulatory objectives of the Legal Services Act 2007.
We have been an approved regulator for the reserved legal activity of probate since 2009 and our regulatory arrangements for probate were approved by the Legal Services Board (LSB) effective 18 January 2018. We started to authorise individuals and firms for probate activities from 1 April 2018, providing members in the UK with the opportunity to participate in the legal services market in England and Wales.
Read about the journey towards probate approval below and learn what our next steps are.
In August 2017, ACCA invited members in practice, consumers in the legal services market, and other interested parties to comment on its draft application to gain approval of new regulatory arrangements for probate activities. The external consultation was launched on 29 August 2017, and was open until 9 October 2017.
Application to Legal Services Board
ACCA compiled an application which provided a comprehensive overview of our regulatory framework and processes, including aspects relevant to probate activities. It explained how we aim to authorise individuals and firms to carry out probate work and the regulatory and disciplinary procedures necessary to meet the requirements of the Legal Services Act 2007 and the LSB.
After considering the feedback gained in this consultation period, ACCA submitted its final application to the LSB on 23 October 2017, gaining formal approval in January 2018.
Regulatory Arrangements for Probate
Legal Activities Regulations 2018
The new Legal Activities Regulations 2018 have been published in the 2018 ACCA Rulebook. The new regulations came into force on 1 March 2018 and are available here.
Memorandum of Understanding and Operational Protocol with the Legal Ombudsman
ACCA has established a Memorandum of Understanding and an Operational Protocol with the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) which set out how ACCA and the LeO will work together and share information on complaints.
Probate Application Process, Forms and Guidance
ACCA finalised all the probate registration procedures and communicated this to our members. ACCA also gained approval from the LSB for the fees we will charge for probate.
ACCA Probate and Estate Administration Course and Assessment
ACCA launched a new probate training course and assessment delivered online by Kaplan Altior.
We are continuing to work towards implementing further regulatory arrangements for probate and engaging with the LSB, LeO and other approved regulators, in particular through the Legal Regulators Forum.
ACCA continues to explore the possibility of applying to become a licensing authority for Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) in respect of probate. We are also considering submitting applications to the LSB for ACCA to be an approved regulator for other reserved legal activities.
ACCA's Market Transparency Action Plan
ACCA's draft action plan to increase market transparency in the legal services market is currently being assessed by the LSB.
ACCA has made available updated versions of the Probate factsheets. The suite of factsheets starts with ‘what to do when someone dies’, with others in the suite looking at administration of estates, taxation, calculations, forms required and distributions to beneficiaries.
The Probate Factsheets are available by request and will be free to practitioners who email email@example.com. Please include your membership number, firm and ‘probate factsheets’ in the subject line. Members undertaking work in a personal capacity can obtain extracts from the factsheets and should include their name, membership number and ‘probate factsheets extracts’ in the subject line.
ACCA gains Probate approval - effective 18 January 2018
The Legal Services Board's approval enables ACCA to authorise individuals and firms to undertake probate work.