IRN’s 2017 Wills, Probate & Trusts Report Published – Steady market growth expected

19 Oct 2017

CAGR OF 3.7% IN MARKET VALUE FROM 2016 TO 2020          

The UK Wills & Probate Market Briefing 2017 is the fourth edition of an annual Legal Market Briefing from IRN Research and provides an overview of the UK wills, probate & trusts market.

Each year around 4 million adults make a will and 3.6 million handle probate/estate administration matters.  Despite this relatively large market size, it remains a largely unregulated market relative to other sectors of the law, and remains very fragmented, primarily made up of small and medium-sized solicitors and unregulated will and probate firms.

The wills, probate and trusts market is expected to see modest but steady growth in the future, supported by a rising number of deaths each year and the continuing aging of the UK population. There are a number of possible developments in the pipeline which could radically change the market. Among these are:

  • Potentially making will writing a regulated activity.
  • Enforcing solicitors to publish on their websites their prices (and their complaints data).
  • Changing the legal forms of wills, allowing electronic wills, video wills and audio wills, which opens the prospect for the electronic storage of wills.
  • The greater introduction of new technology into the market such as automation of legal forms and precedents, cloud-based practice management solutions, digital submission of forms to the HMRC and an online probate service.
  • In England and Wales, the lowering of the minimum age of testators from 18 to 16 and applying the test of capacity in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to wills.
  • The introduction of the Code of Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation, meaning law firms must be more careful when handling wills, trusts ad inheritance tax issues.
  • The introduction of a new UK Trust Register, which might make trusts less attractive to those wanting anonymity.

40 practitioners in the sector responded to an IRN survey on workload and revenues: 63% are expecting an increase in workload in the next 12 months (compared to 60% in last year’s survey).

More content and order details at: http://www.irn-research.com/reports/

The briefing (51pp, PDF), is available directly from IRN Research, priced at £180. UK sterling price is plus VAT so total price is £216.

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