Mystery shoppers will test the service provided by will-writers early next year, as part of a Legal Services Board project.

Research agency IFF Research has been commissioned by the LSB, the Legal Services Consumer Panel and the Office of Fair Trading to recruit individuals to report back on their experience of getting a will, which will then be assessed by a panel of solicitors and will-writers.

IFF will select 100 consumers looking to obtain a will. Of these, 40 will use a solicitor, 40 will use a will-writer, and 20 will write their own will using an online provider or paper-based DIY will.

The names of the firms producing the wills, and the names of those obtaining the wills, will remain anonymous. A pilot study is scheduled to take place in January, with the full study taking place in February and March.

The LSB is seeking volunteers to help assess 20 wills obtained by IFF. The board said volunteers will need at least five years’ will-writing experience and relevant CPD in the last three years. Practitioners interested in volunteering should email their name, and a declaration of any representative roles they have held in the past five years, to

Meanwhile, the LSB’s draft work programme for 2011/12, released this week, indicated that the board will not publish a consultation on the results of its investigation into will-writing until early in 2012. The LSB is examining whether to make will-writing a reserved legal activity.