The future of Wills and probate

While the current situation makes any discussion on the future of any business feel like tempting fate, developments within the Wills and probate industry particularly those relating to technological advances will be of interest.

The Wills & Probate Report: Where is the Industry Headed? article on the Today’s Wills & Probate website explored relevant topics including digitisation, CRM, blockchain, automatic and cyber security. All are topics legal businesses seeking expansion will want to grow. How quickly is this happening on the ground though and do clients’ expectations include greater uses of technology for contact? Is the Wills and probate market changing overall?

Dave Newick, the managing director of Arken Legal, said he found the annual reports, UK Wills, Probate & Trusts Market Report and Wills & Probate Consumer Research Report, prepared by IRN Research, “invaluable”.

Online will writing

The reports cover market size and trends, consumer behaviour and key players and disruptors. The consumer report shows changes in the market. Based on client feedback, the top four companies take 15-18 percent of the market and this is expected to increase. Feedback from the national samples also suggests significant numbers of adults would be interested in writing their own wills and using will-writing services that are only online.

Some six out of ten consumers also assume that the will-writing sector is regulated, according to the research. The authors of the report say that is likely to compromise consumer choice.

Mr Newick said his business believed in future-proofing his legal business though tech solutions. Digitisation, he believes, speeds up productivity, helps consistency and improves the client experience. It also provides greater flexibility in the workplace. Demand from clients included requests for online wills, in-depth tax advice and digital fact finds.

Consistencies but spikes too

IRN’s research director, Dr David Mort, said their reports had found some consistencies but there were some interesting spikes in there too.

A webinar discussion between Dr Mort and Mr Newick was held on 18 March where they discussed the future of Wills and probate, and what technological advances might bring. You can access a recording of the webinar on’s events page.

Future webinars will concentrate on online wills and financial management during Covid-19.

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