LSB launches “secret” will shopper

LSB launches “secret” will shopper

The Legal Services Board, jointly with the Legal Services Consumer Panel, Solicitors? Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have commissioned IFF Research to carry out research on the will-writing market to explore the experience of consumers getting wills from different channels and test the quality of wills produced. The research will recruit individuals who are looking to get a will and follow them through the process of selecting a service provider and getting a will. Key to the success of the project will be an effective assessment of the quality of wills produced for the consumers. To assess the wills we are seeking to recruit a mixed panel of solicitors and will-writers.

The study will recruit 100 consumers who are looking to obtain a will – split between 40 who would like to use a solicitor, 40 who would like to use a will-writer and 20 who would like to would like to write their own will (either using an online provider or a paper based DIY will). The sample will be selected to have an even split of consumers with simple and complex circumstances.

We are seeking volunteers who would be willing to give up some of their time to help our assessments by looking at 20 anonymised wills. All volunteers should have at least five years current experience of writing a wills including relevant CPD in the past three years. Unfortunately we will not be able to pay for time spent by volunteers on this project but will be able to cover for travel costs to the two London meetings.

Panel members will be asked to assess whether the will is fit for purpose and note any issues of concern The study will not at any point publish the names of any of the firms producing wills as part of the study or the individuals participating.

Time commitment for volunteer members of the panel will be minimised with an initial set up meeting to agree assessment criteria, assessment of 20 wills, at a time and place of their convenience, and a final wrap up assessment. We are aiming to start a pilot study in January with the full study taking place in February and March. Any practitioners who are interested in volunteering to support this research are asked to send their name to Alex.Roy@legalservicesboard.org.uk together with a declaration of any representative roles they have held in the past five years.

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