Leading Wills And Probate Firms Begin To Dominate Market Share

A recent consumer research report has estimated that four leading Wills and probate organisations are showing signs of market share dominance.

The Wills and Probate Consumer Research Report 2020 from IRN research has revealed that the top brands are beginning to “take a noticeable market share of this fragmented market.” – with the top four taking a combined “15%-18% share of the market and this is expected to increase”.

The consumer research report is based on detailed analysis of results from surveys received from over 1,000 consumers which initially suggested that not a lot had changed in the sector over the last 12 months as “both markets are still skewed towards older consumers, law firms and solicitors still dominate the advice services offered, and the use of DIY will writing options is still low.”

However, there are signs of changes when looking closer at the findings, the research found that more and more consumers are gravitating towards fixed fees as IRN reveals “For the first time in 2019, fixed fees now account for the majority of fees paid in the probate market as competition increases price pressures.”

Interestingly, the overall national research feedback suggest that vast numbers of adults are showing signs of interest in DIY Wills and using online Will-writing providers but IRN said “Whether these intentions turn into reality remains to be seen.”

Furthermore, what is more concerning is that the research found that just over half of the consumers thought the industry as a whole was regulated and that the proportion who were confused about regulation had increased in 2019. IRN stated that “This confusion is likely to be compromising consumer choice.”

A snapshot of the UK Wills, Trusts and Probate Market Report 2019, which was published by IRN research revealed:

“Market value growth in the wills, trusts and probate market was 5% in 2018 compared to 2017, and a similar level of growth is likely in 2019.

“Probate market work is the main driver of growth. The majority of will writing and probate work is still carried out by traditional law firms and solicitors.

“However, the sector has changed in the last year or so: the leading volume players have increased their market share; start-up companies, with innovative IT solutions, are creating some market disruption; new players, especially in probate and estate administration, have entered the market from related professional services sectors, e.g. accountants, conveyancers, legal executives – all now licensed to offer probate advice.”

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