Will-writers to be mystery shopped
Mystery shoppers will test the service provided by will-writers early next year [this year, now], as part of a Legal Services Board project.
Research agency IFF Research has been commissioned by the LSB, the Legal Services Consumer Panel and the Office of Fair Trading to recruit individuals to report back on their experience of getting a will, which will then be assessed by a panel of solicitors and will-writers.
IFF will select 100 consumers looking to obtain a will. Of these, 40 will use a solicitor, 40 will use a will-writer, and 20 will write their own will using an online provider or paper-based DIY will.
The names of the firms producing the wills, and the names of those obtaining the wills, will remain anonymous. A pilot study is scheduled to take place in January, with the full study taking place in February and March.
The LSB is examining whether to make will-writing a reserved legal activity.
I’ve always steered as far clear of private client work as possible; it just never held my interest if I’m honest.
But I’m certainly curious to know how this particular segment of the private client market is regarded – particularly by solicitors. I don’t know, but I suspect that it’s a very similar situation to licenced conveyancers, i.e. that solicitors generally regard these market-stealing upstarts with a certain amount of contempt and like nothing better than to sneer at their rivals’ ineptitude.
Given the volume of do-it-yourself options out there, I’m surprised there’s sufficient breadth in the market for this sub-division to have developed and sustained itself.
Far be it for me to cast aspersions on the quality of work being done by will-writers out there who aren’t solicitors, but I guess quality assurance measures have got to be a good thing for clients.
Which is what matters most, right?