BALEP

The British Academy of Lawyers & Estate Planners

Much of what we offer our members is based around the
individual giving help and support to each other.

Will Writers and Lawyers working together, setting news standards in estate planning

The Benefits of Membership

Being member of the British Academy of Lawyers and Estate Planners (BALEP) means you take your responsibilities as a professional seriously enough to care; to care how you look to your clients; care enough to ensure that you are giving your clients the confidence that you are the right person to do business with.

Being a member (BALEP) means that you are safe to do business with; that you are properly trained; that you are properly kept up to date and properly indemnified against problems that may in the unlikelihood arise in the future.

Being a member of (BALEP) means that by being a member you work to and agree to work to and fully comply with the Code of Practice and that your client in the unlikely event has a problem can apply to the (BALEP) for help and assistance.

Being a member of (BALEP) shows the public that you are willing to invest in your future and through that investment in money and time to train and to keep yourself up to date in the law shows them you are a professional.

What Does (BALEP) Offer You?

Initially we built our strength and reputation on technical support, training Today the (BALEP) has grown the support and products it offers its members and continues to do so.

Some of the services we offer, we do so because we make it mandatory, such as Professional Indemnity Insurance, no professional would trade today without this protection, Other services we offer, we do as we believe that by offering additional complimentary services and products helps build a better business and improves client confidence in you.

The following pages will lay out many of the benefits and more information can be found in separate leaflets and brochures available from (BALEP) direct and will be included in your "Welcome Pack" when you join as a member. The benefits are not listed in any particular order of importance.

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)

(BALEP) sees PII cover as being fundamental to everyone who practices within our profession. The product that we offer to our clients may not be used for many years, but errors do occur. The policy is there to protect you against possible claims that may occur through omission or error. It may be that one only has to appear only to defend ones actions, but these can in themselves cost many thousands of pounds. Any earlier work is also covered by this retrospective policy*.

* Your retrospective date will be the date you first purchased Professional Indemnity cover. This means that any new members to the scheme need not worry about previous wills they have written as they will be included provided insurance was in place at the time of writing the will.

(BALEP) does not provide PI Insurance but does have a recommended supplier list that offer competitive rates to members.

Working today in a growing litigious society means that PII has to be a must and no longer a luxury.

Technical Help and Professional Assistance

(BALEP) offers all Members full technical help and advice as part of their membership package irrespective of their grade, in the compiling and drafting of Wills and other related documents.

This service is available by letter, fax or e-mail and answers normally will be returned in written form within 24-48 hours, from info@BALEP.org

The advice and assistance can be anything from a simple request to confirm a clause written by a Member, to compiling a complete clause to meet a specific need.

We can help where you have a complex case and need further assistance in which you are unsure of what advice is needed or where you simply want confirmation that your advice is sound.

More complex external advice of matters such as Trust work or Inheritance Tax planning is available for a fee. Depending upon the complexity, determines the cost to the member for the advice and assistance given by qualified advisers, if you are offered this service you will be told of any costs in advance.

Public Help Line

(BALEP) provides a public free phone help line Members have taken to this service and use it to promote their own credentials with prospective clients. We encourage the public to call if they have any doubt about the validity of the practitioner who they may be contemplating engaging.

To further complement this service leaflets entitled can be supplied to members of the public or to members themselves to promote their business A set of poster masters in full colour are also available to Members. Details will be contained within your welcome pack that is sent to you after joining.

There are also a full range of leaflets available covering all the main topics and typical questions that may be asked of you. These can either be used as masters for your own stationery or purchased through the Society. The Public Information leaflets are distributed freely to the public when requested.

Training and Education and CPD

(BALEP) through it providers, provides specific training on a number of will writing topics.

The courses range from the 2 day residential induction course "Taking correct Instructions" to a three day "diploma level" course. In between are a range of half and one day courses covering specialist subjects and developing your knowledge on existing courses such as tax and trusts, Lasting Powers of Attorney, working with elderly clients, role playing to develop your instruction taking skills and confidence.

Developing Your Business

As with any business venture, whether full or part-time, there is always a need for additional income gained from either gaining greater knowledge and thereby expanding the current service or introducing new products and services.

(BALEP) has long recognised the need for both of these. Training and education is primarily dealt with through outside providers and master members.

Document Storage

Most Will Writers see storage as both a means of additional annual income, and a valuable tool to keep in touch with existing clients.

(BALEP) offers Members a safe, secure and professional Will and Document Custody service. Members can opt for annual payments or a single 'life-time storage' fee, both of which offer a checking service to ensure the Will and other documents are correctly attested, or alternatively now a free storage service.

The most common and effective method is to charge your clients annually. This ensures that you maintain in contact with your clients, receive a regular income and when the time comes for you hang up your quill pen, most Will Banks can be sold.

Either way, the charging structure by the Society means that you can still charge your clients and retain the majority of the income. Full details and terms are supplied separately upon.

Pre-Paid Funeral Plan

In 2008 the (BALEP) in association with Forbes Management, one of the oldest established UK pre-paid funeral planning companies, launched our own plan.

More details can be supplied upon request.

Marketing material and leaflets are all available to members free of charge* as are training manuals and help and assistance.

Offering Professional Executorship and Trustee Services

It has long been recognised that Probate was a restricted practice and handled only by the legal profession, banks and Trust Corporations. Will Writers naturally would like the ability to offer this service direct to their clients but without the problems and trauma of actually doing it themselves.
(BALEP) has preferred suppliers to provide member's client's professional Executorship and Trustee services to their clients while providing members with an additional income stream.

Members can earn substantial commission and fees from this service when the deceased's estate goes to probate, based on the fee charged by the fund provider.

Web Entries

As a member of (BALEP) every member has the right to add a link from their web site to the (BALEP) web site.

Conferences

In addition to regular training courses As the membership grows a Annual conference is to be planned.

Much of what (BALEP) offers its Members is based around the individual, giving help and support to each other. We believe that this is the way forward, and that the market within which we work is large enough and sustainable enough for us to work together and not as competitors.