Accountants: Could you be offering probate?

Accountants: Could you be offering probate?

In our latest blog series, we will be exploring the advantages offering probate can bring to accountancy firms, alongside a helpful ‘How to Guide’ to get started. click here and subscribe to our insights.

Many accountants offer estate administration services but will pass their clients to a solicitor for probate services. This is a service often overlooked by many accountants and a potential follow-on service that hasn’t been considered. With the ability to conduct non-contentious probate, it enables accountants to provide a seamless service to their clients, which in most cases can be faster and cheaper than that of banks and lawyers. A recent study from Direct Line identified that only 24% of Brits would consider contesting a will of a loved one. This highlights a significant market for non-contentious probate and whether they are the bereaved family accountant or tax advisor they could be providing further service in the form of probate.

Having built a relationship with their clients already, trust for that individual and practice has been established. Many clients are reassured that they are in good hands and prefer to continue this difficult and stressful bereavement journey with familiarity. As outlined within our recent Bereavement Index Report, 94% of people found at least part of the bereavement process stressful and 39% of law firms found that within half of their bereavement cases, the clients needed emotional support from someone within their firm.

Why are accountants so well positioned for conducting probate?

There are several practical and financial benefits to the client in using a tax advisor or accountant for probate services. First and foremost, by having a good understanding of the deceased’s assets and tax liabilities already will enable the process to be dealt with as quickly as possible with limited involvement of additional people. Our research indicated 37% of accounts are not known at the start of the probate process and 60% of law firms said less than half of their clients have all their affairs in order. By providing a full life service, accountants or tax advisors are reducing the time spent on locating accounts and can ensure their clients have their affairs in order.

Additionally, accountants or tax advisors are aware and comfortable with the tasks surrounding a grant of probate with many of the required outputs being second nature to their line of work, for example accounts, assets, liabilities, and tax calculations. Finally, providing probate services also lends its hand to the additional opportunity to undertake inheritance tax planning for the future.

Probate work can provide firms with an excellent business opportunity to provide a whole life service to their existing clients and attract new ones.

Accountants are the logical choice for many clients.

While more than a third of us will be involved in the administration of someone’s estate at some point in our lives, overall knowledge of the process is still low.

From our recent findings within the Bereavement Index, we asked 1,200 people a series of true or false questions about probate and the responsibilities of an executor and none got them all right. This lack of awareness around what the bereavement process entails could well be one of the main reasons why so many people become stressed when dealing with the administrative side of loss.

Of those surveyed who have been through the probate process as an executor, the experience has made them determined to do what they can to make the process easier for whoever is left with the administration around their own death. For example, people who have dealt with probate themselves are 58% more likely to have organised an executor of their own will and are also more likely to have chosen someone other than their partner to do it, suggesting that those who did deal with administering the estate of a loved one would not want to inflict that experience on their other half.

It is this lack of knowledge that makes accountants or tax advisors who have already invested in building trusted and strong relationships, a logical choice for their clients to want them to handle all elements of probate, at what is likely to be a difficult time.

How can Exizent help?

Exizent is specially designed for professionals and teams managing probate, our platform helps streamline inefficient and costly processes, and increase profitability with easier estate management and case administration. Through our cloud-based platform, you and your team can start your probate journey, without the need for intensive training or complicated configuration.

Discover more about our innovative platform here or contact our team for a personalised demo.

 

This article was submitted to be published by Exizent as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

Exizent

Exizent is the industry platform for professionals involved with managing the bereavement process. Learn the ins-and-outs of Exizent in this quick introductory video: Exizent connects the data and services used by legal services firms, institutions and executors when someone passes away, to make the journey for the bereaved an easier one. Exizent’s mission is to help everybody reduce uncertainty in the process, increase the speed to resolution, and make the bereavement process more straightforward for everyone involved. Specially design for legal teams, our straightforward cloud-based platform allows you and your team to start your probate or confirmation journey, without the need for intensive training or complicated configuration.

  • Collaboration and remote working
Easily create and manage all your cases in one place, assigning members of your team to work together with more clarity and efficiency. Capture all estate information in easy to navigate cases, adding details on people, assets, and liabilities.
  • Simplify Estate discovery
Access a deceased individual’s financial information in real time, from bank accounts to mortgages, directly on the platform at the click of a button, simplifying your estate discovery.
  • Quickly generate legal forms
Automatically produce fully or partially completed Court and Inheritance Tax forms from the data within your case, reducing rekeying and the potential for errors being made. From complex financial calculations to reformatting data, our platform greatly reduces the time taken to complete your forms.
  • Dedicated support
We ensure your team have the support they need. Our knowledgeable Customer Success team have the training and knowledge you need to take advantage of industry changes and digitisation within your existing workflows and processes. CLICK HERE to book a zero-obligation demonstration today
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