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Legends

Guidance on the use of legends for firms carrying out probate work.

Firms can use their own form of words to cover their licence, using the guidelines set out in the names and letterheads of practising firms. However, the probate licence is restricted to uncontested probate, so you need to make sure the description does not imply that the firm provides contested probate services as well. 

Authorised firms

Authorised firms may use the legend:

'Authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.' 

Licensed firms

Licensed firms may use the legend:

'Licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales.' 

If the firm is regulated by ICAEW in other areas (in addition to probate), it can use a mixed legend; for example:

'Registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland; regulated for a range of investment business activities; and licensed to carry out the reserved legal activity of non-contentious probate in England and Wales by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. '
If the firm is authorised rather than licensed, it should state that it is authorised.

Accredited probate firms

These firms must refer to the register of accredited probate firms. A suggested disclosure is: 

‘Details of the firm’s probate registration can be viewed at icaew.com/probate, under the firm’s reference number which begins C00.’

You can display this disclosure on the firm's stationery, website or engagement letter. Further guidance on this statutory disclosure can be found in the Services Directive Helpsheet.