In a series of Supporters in Focus pieces, we are thrilled to introduce our supporters of The British Wills and Probate Awards 2021
Alongside headline sponsor Executor Solutions we look forward to recognising achievement, highlighting progression and championing innovation.
Today we profile Private Client Team of the Year sponsors Pro-Gen Research.
We’re delighted to have Pro-Gen Research on board with the fourth year of The British Wills & Probate Awards. First of all, tell us who you are and what you do.
We are an expert genealogical research company helping private client solicitors, professional deputies and legacy managers in all areas of international probate research and tracing.
What have Pro-Gen Research been doing over the past 9 months since The British Wills & Probate Awards 2020?
During the past year, Pro-Gen Research has continued to provide the highest level of research skills to the probate sector. We have formed and are building a strong relationship with a company who simplify and improve the management of probate, estate administration and Court of Protection matters alongside expanding our range of services to include the provision of translation services and a comprehensive list of international bankruptcy searches.
What do you think is the biggest challenge the sector has faced over the last 12 months?
The increase in preparation of Wills, Powers of Attorney and sadly, probate administrations has placed a huge pressure on the sector, both in volume and practicality. However, from speaking with clients and colleagues, I believe the sector has adapted magnificently to the various restrictions to ensure that clients still receive the same care and attention they would have received absent the pandemic. On a practical note, it has been difficult to obtain documentation such as certificates and divorce records at the beginning of the lockdowns but these services appear to have resumed normal service.
And what innovations were you seeing in the market?
The use of technology in the sector over the past year has been nothing short of a life saver for the sector; from conducting initial interviews with clients regarding Wills, probate applications, etc over Zoom or Teams, and networking with colleagues (especially through Women in Wills). The increase in reliance on “probate based supermarkets” which provide a variety of services under one roof is also an innovation that I have become aware over the past year.
What are your predictions for the sector in 2022 and beyond?
The probate sector has, historically, been seen as a rather “stuffy” and antiquated area of law. However, I believe the way that the sector has embraced technology over the past year together with the revision of the laws regarding the witnessing of wills, is going to ensure that the sector fully embraces the technological advances at its disposal. Due to the increase in workload currently being seen in the sector, I also note that there is a large recruitment drive for probate practitioners and I hope that this will encourage more students of law to see the probate sector as an interesting and worthy area in which to focus their studies and career.
Have you got any messages for the sector and our shortlisters?
The probate sector has seen and continues to go through a particularly difficult period and the recognition provided by these awards is an important way of celebrating those within the sector, whether they are probate practitioners, will writers, deputies, probate genealogists or search providers; each element of the sector provides a valuable service ensuring that the best service is afforded to individuals who are possibly going through one of the most distressing periods of their lives. I am extremely proud to be a part of this sector and will ensure that the services provided by Pro-Gen Research assist practitioners to deliver a professional and straightforward process to their clients.
Thank you to Pro-Gen Research for their support for The British Wills & Probate Awards 2020.
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