With the rise of fully online banks, paperless accounts, and heightened security using fingerprint or facial recognition, probate professionals’ jobs are getting increasingly difficult. It has been reported that wills and probate specialists have struggled to find accounts in as many as a quarter of cases in the past 12 months.
The best way to mitigate the problem technology advances are causing is to embrace the tech and mould it to our own usage. The industry is seeing more technology emerging for helping clients get organised and ultimately help the probate process for everyone involved.
Life planning platform, Once I’ve Gone, was founded by Ian Dibb after the loss of his mother and sister. He wanted to help people plan their estate and have peace of mind that their families are protected. However, in addition to users, probate specialists have found that clients who have a more streamlined approach to storing life documents has allowed them to work more efficiently. Here Ian outlines how the use of such online platforms benefits probate specialists.
Estate and Account Wrangling
One of the biggest frustrations for will and probate specialists is finding financial documents and accounts tied to an estate. Many families are unaware of where their loved ones store their assets, for example, it is estimated that up to 25 per cent of couples are unaware of their partners’ financial situation or account specifics. What’s more, is that it’s currently estimated that there is a staggering £70billion of unclaimed assets in the UK. This is a huge figure for the industry and one that we need to work to reduce.
Streamlining the probate process can ensure a thorough job is being done and can mean that questions or issues can be dealt with quickly and sensitively. Any difficult decisions needing to be made by the family are not compounded by the issues a probate practitioner may face. When you’re looking after an estate once someone’s gone, time is truly of the essence. A quick turnaround on the part of the probate professional not only helps practices and their professionals but brings peace of mind to the client’s family. Life platforms allow this to happen.
Present Planning for the Future
Although it’s often the case that probate professionals are not involved until the passing of the client, it’s extremely useful to encourage and enable them to plan in advance. A lot of the frustrations probate professionals face can be avoided through effective planning.
Platforms such as Once I’ve Gone allow users to add legal information, banking details and insurance plans to their account. Much like a digital filing cabinet, they keep all the important documents in one place. In the first instance, this gives the user peace of mind that when they pass their family will not have the struggle of piecing together their estate. However, it also makes the work of a probate specialist a lot easier and quicker.
These platforms can allow access to professionals needing to work on the estate without too much interference or stress. This is why so many practices and independent specialists are partnering with life planning platforms as they remove the uncertainty and ultimately allows for a more thorough job.
Memories, Messages, and Wishes
Although probate only covers the financial and legal aspects of an estate, loved ones will be looking for something more personal. At an extremely challenging time, whilst grieving, the legacy their loved one has left behind will be a huge comfort. With this in mind, many probate specialists have found that offering their clients a life planning platform subscription is a huge help.
Life planning platforms allow users to leave behind a personal legacy. From video messages to photographs and memories, all of these aspects make the passing of a loved one much easier on the client’s family. This aspect of the life planning platform also allows for final wishes to be documented. For the family, it can be very difficult to ensure they’re ‘getting it right’ to do the best by their family member, and as a legal professional, wills and wishes will be important for you too, to avoid conflict and tension. Ultimately, if probate specialists can streamline the process for clients and their loved ones, their job will be helped also.
This pandemic has made a lot of people really step back and think about death, their end-of-life plans, and be comfortable opening up about their mortality. On a professional level, life planning platforms save precious time and resources when working with a client. On a personal level, these platforms can save heartache and stress with the family, allowing you to work quickly and efficiently whilst allowing the family time to process and grieve, which is the ultimate goal of life and probate specialists.