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Private client focus | Unreserved will-writing activities – a death knell for solicitors?

While Chris Grayling's decision could spell the beginning of a downward spiral, an immature market and the potential of flexible delivery means solicitors still have a place in will writing, says Robert Graham-Campbell

19 August 2013

In spite of recommendations to the contrary given by the super-regulator the Legal Services Board, and after tenacious lobbying by the Law Society, Chris Grayling's announcement that he would not regulate will writing may result in further squeezes to already hard-pressed solicitors up and down the country. How should solicitors react to the presence of will-writing businesses in a world where it is not, now, going to be a regulated activity and where new entrants are already starting to make waves? How should probate practices adjust?

The "bears" in the profession say that solicitors will face ever more competition from cut price, less-qualified will writers as well as other new providers (including online), and that this will undermine an already largely commoditised practice area to such an extent that it is no longer possible for lawyers to practice profitably in this field. With over 7,000 firms listed by the Law Society as practising in wills and prob...

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