UK Wills, Probate & Trusts Market Briefing Report

  • ID: 4414158
  • Report
  • Region: United Kingdom, Great Britain
  • 51 Pages
  • IRN Research
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Each Year Around 4 Million Adults Make a Will and 3.6 Million Handle Probate/Estate Administration Matters

FEATURED COMPANIES

  • Blake Morgan LLP
  • Boodle Hatfield LLP
  • Hugh James LLP
  • Kings Court Trust
  • Mills & Reeve LLP
  • Redstone Wills
  • MORE

The UK Wills & Probate Market Briefing 2017 is the fourth edition of an annual Legal Market Briefing from the author 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 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).

The UK Wills, Probate & Trusts Market Briefing is one of a series of briefings produced each year with others covering B2B Legal Services, Conveyancing, Family Law, and Personal Injury. Briefings provide details of: historical market size and trends; future trends and forecasts; industry opinion surveys; market drivers; key players; commentary on key issues impacting on the market.

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FEATURED COMPANIES

  • Blake Morgan LLP
  • Boodle Hatfield LLP
  • Hugh James LLP
  • Kings Court Trust
  • Mills & Reeve LLP
  • Redstone Wills
  • MORE

1. Executive Summary   

  • Introduction
  • It’s a large but very fragmented market
  • It’s a market driven by age and death
  • A market held back by consumers adopting an ostrich approach to the future
  • Price transparency and regulation are possible future scenarios

2. Introduction   

  • Wills and Probate
  • Trusts
  • Legal Guardianship
  • Abbreviations

3. Market Structure   

  • Official Regulation
  • Professional Regulation
  • A Fragmented Market
  • Law Firms and Solicitors
  • Unregulated Companies
  • Other Probate Providers

4. Market Drivers   

  • Ageing population could aid the market
  • Number of deaths rising but the incidence of death in decline
  • Growth of dementia
  • Ignorance is holding the market back…
  • Because many consumers don’t want to think about the future…
  • A fact compounded by the lack of big brands
  • Changing patterns of family life
  • Rise of probate fees cancelled
  • Growing pressure for price transparency
  • Potential regulation of will writing in England and Wales…
  • And new regulations could also come into force in Scotland
  • The law on wills could also be changed in England and Wales
  • Changes in tax rules make trusts less attractive….
  • And new inheritance tax changes mean trust holder could lose out
  • Law firms need to be careful not to assist tax avoidance when giving advice
  • The New UK Trust Register

5. Key Players   

  • Overview
  • Co-op Legal Services
  • Blake Morgan LLP
  • Bond Dickinson LLP
  • Boodle Hatfield LLP
  • Clarke Willmott LLP
  • Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
  • Estate Planning Group (Holdings) Ltd
  • Hugh James LLP
  • Kings Court Trust
  • Lawpack Publishing Ltd
  • Irwin Mitchell Solicitors
  • Mills & Reeve LLP
  • Penningtons Manches LLP
  • Redstone Wills
  • Shoosmiths LLP
  • Simplify Group/Chorus Law Group
  • Simpson Millar Solicitors LLP
  • Slater & Gordon
  • Thompsons Solicitors
  • Trust Inheritance Ltd
  • Which? Legal

6. Market Size and Trends   

  • A market valued at around £1.3 billion
  • The will writing market is valued at £300 million
  • Probate
  • Guardianships
  • 162,000 Trusts in existence
  • Court proceedings

7. The Future   

  • Market Forecasts
  • An ageing population should make will and probate services more relevant
  • Market to reach £1.6 billion by 2022
  • A low priced offer could open the mass market
  • New technology could change the market
  • Wills & Probate Practitioner Survey

8. Associations

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  • Blake Morgan LLP
  • Bond Dickinson LLP
  • Boodle Hatfield LLP
  • Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
  • Clarke Willmott LLP
  • Estate Planning Group (Holdings) Ltd
  • Hugh James LLP
  • Irwin Mitchell Solicitors
  • Kings Court Trust
  • Lawpack Publishing Ltd
  • Mills & Reeve LLP
  • Penningtons Manches LLP
  • Redstone Wills
  • Shoosmiths LLP
  • Simplify Group/Chorus Law Group
  • Simpson Millar Solicitors LLP
  • Slater & Gordon
  • Thompsons Solicitors
  • Trust Inheritance Ltd
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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