In recent years the legal services industry has seen some major changes, chiefly prompted by the emergence of new types of law firms and new pricing models. In a new report, SixthSense, the business intelligence unit of YouGov, looks into how the new legal landscape impacts consumers and how many Britons now use non-traditional sources of legal advice. The report chiefly focuses on consumer-related legal services, including Wills and Probate, personal injury and accidents, and conveyancing.
SixthSense approached around 2,100 Britons aged over 16 in January to find out more about the services they have used recently. The researcher established that Wills and Probate were the most cited reasons behind consumers' decision to approach a legal firm in the last three years. About a third of respondents said they have hired a Will writing or Probate expert, almost unchanged compared with the levels recorded in 2011. Some 46% of respondents aged over 55 said they had used a legal services provider to make a Will or handle a probate issue, compared to 30% of people in the 45-54 age bracket.
The researchers also found that just 39% of respondents have already put their final wishes down on paper, with 48% of the wealthier ABC1s having done so compared to 29% of CDEs.
Many adults explained that they still haven't made a Will just because they can't find time to do so, while others said that they procrastinate over writing a Will due to the associations this process sparks or because they considered it quite expensive and complicated. Among younger adults, those aged 16-24, just 4% have made a Will as they are less concerned about issues such as mortality, assets and possible high debt. Britons aged between 25 and 44 are barely interested in making a Will as well, as just 12% of people in the 25-34 age group and 25% of those between 35 and 44 said they already have one. Not surprisingly, older adults proved to be most interested in making a Will - 45% of people aged 45-54 and 72% of those over 55 said they have made one.
This week is Dying Matters Awareness Week, so if you haven't done so already, perhaps now is the time to talk to your loved ones about your wishes and make a Will?