Anna Dunford, head of the private client department at Birmingham-based firm Herbert Wilkes, has a mixed response to 'Make a Will Week'.
“Our large city office does not pull any more business through the door in 'Make a Will Week', because its clients simply do not respond to that kind of advertising. The kind of clientele walking past our high street branch, however, see the posters up in the window and come in,” she says.
Trainee solicitor, Rachel Hall joined Bradford firm, Lee Priestly just after last year's 'Make a Will Week': “The firm had put an advert in the local paper for special offers on wills. The response was obviously huge because I spent my first few weeks working at the firm drafting out wills.”
Advertising is obviously the key to the success of 'Make a Will Week'. John Goodrich of York firm Denison Till said that his firm does not pick up any noticeable extra business because it doesn't provide enough publicity.
However, London firm Farrer & Co is big on wills, according to partner Francis Nation-Dickson: “We don't make a special effort to advertise 'Make a Will Week'. We think everyone should take advantage of the right to make a will in this country and so encourage it all year round.”
Richard Thornely from Horsham firm Thomas Eggar Verral Bowles argues that there is a degree of public confusion between 'Make a Will Week' and will aid, suggesting that more effective advertising might remedy this.
In response to last year's Which survey on solicitors and the making of wills, the Consumer's Association now encourages people to make their own wills.
This week it is launching two action packs called How to sort out someone's will and Make your own will.
Keith Richards from the association comments: “People needn't rush off to solicitors to sort out all their legal affairs. As long as your affairs are fairly straightforward you can draft your will and avoid the expense of legal fees.”