What Do Consumers Want?
April 19, 2023
On 15th March, some of the Arken.legal team were lucky enough to have an in-depth conversation with David Mort, Director of the famous IRN Research Reports. We discussed the findings from his two latest reports:
1. The UK Wills & Probate Market Consumer Research Report
2. The UK Wills, Probate & Trusts Market Report
There was so much discussed that we’ve had to break down our findings into two blogs. In this blog, we describe our conversation around what consumers want… and it looks like they want convenience and low costs. These findings raised questions for us, about how other areas of law were making client engagement more convenient and how best to make Wills more profitable in the face of shrinking margins.
Read on to get to the nitty gritty.
Consumers want convenience.
Since the last consumer survey, back in 2020, there’s been a big increase in the number of people that are reportedly comfortable with online delivery services, such as online consultations and the online witnessing of Wills. Yet, it’s not readily available…
Contrast this with the high percentage of adults that still don’t have a Will… and it raises the following question.
If creating a Will was more convenient, would more people, do it?
Other legal practice areas, such as conveyancing and to a lesser extent, family law, are utilising online delivery services in varying forms. It’s a trend that can be seen across the whole legal industry, and consumers are ready for it.
Organisations in the Wills and probate space, especially the lower volume players, will want to think carefully about the technology they invest in and where it can have the biggest impact for them. It’s easy to foresee a market of a few high-volume players, who’ve utilised digital solutions, dominating the online space.
Consider the new disruptors that have entered the market. They use online questionnaires that consumers complete and then task a professional to review the information and draft the Will for the client. Essentially, getting the consumers to do most of the legwork for them! This keeps their costs down, but also offers convenience for the consumer and means they can reach a wider audience online.
Consumers want low cost… so how do you make Wills more profitable?
Fixed fees for Wills are now dominant in the market, and there’s pressure from the competition to keep driving the price down… this raises yet another question!
In the face of low margins, how do you make Wills more profitable?
The reports suggest that there’s a small, but growing number of organisations offering wider, more holistic services alongside the Wills themselves. This could be more legal documents and arrangements, such as Lasting Powers of Attorney and Trusts. Or it could be through additional services, such as financial advice or funeral plans. In the future, Wills could no longer be considered a standalone service, but rather part of a more holistic service for the client.
Another way to make Wills more profitable, is to drive efficiencies into the Will drafting process. Utilising instruction tools and drafting software helps to streamline processes from end-to-end, driving down the operational cost of producing each Will.
Additionally, and somewhat of a *side note*, over the last three years of IRN surveys, the amount given to charity has increased. Firms that offer Will writing services could consider partnering with charities for potential leads, as well as other brands that move in similar circles.
The opportunity is there. There’s an increase in the number of people expected to hit the inheritance tax thresholds in the coming years, and family structures are now more complex. There’s also an upcoming Great Wealth Transfer on the way. Over time, these factors will push more consumers towards professional advisors. Organisations will want to consider a partnership network and a digital footprint if they want to reach more potential clients.
To find out more about how to reach new clients online and how to streamline your document drafting process, visit our website or email us using email@example.com… and stay tuned for blog number 2!