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Will they, won't they

With the regulation of will writing poised for major reform, Chris Handford explains how the LSB is going undercover in the hunt for data

21 March 2011

During the passage of the Legal Services Act 2007, many aspects of legal services reform were discussed and debated. But one area that remained unchanged was the list of reserved legal activities – those areas of practice that can only be performed by lawyers. A wide variety of activities, such as will writing and the provision of general legal advice, remained able to be provided by anyone who chose to enter the market to do so.

Historically this has been an academic point because, practically speaking, there were few alternatives to visiting the local high street solicitor for a will to be written. However, since the late 1980s this picture has changed dramatically, with a proliferation of non-lawyer will writers entering the market alongside the growth of do-it-yourself options. A recent Law Society survey found that a third of respondents who had made a will had used a non-lawyer will writer.

These changes in the market have had the positive effect of creating gr...

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