Probate can be a daunting task for law firms, especially with the rise in contested Wills. Solicitors are tasked with navigating a complex web of tasks and responsibilities. This necessitates not only a deep understanding of the law but also a high degree of efficiency and organisation.
One of the most significant challenges posed during probate is ensuring that the correct documents are accounted for and actioned accordingly. From tax forms to court documents, solicitors must manage, file, and keep track of a myriad of documents. This can consume an inordinate amount of time, particularly in cases where the deceased’s estate is complex or sizeable.
Communication with multiple parties is a key part of the probate process. Solicitors must liaise regularly with clients, courts, and banks, to name just a few. Coordinating communication and ensuring everyone has the correct and up-to-date information can be a difficult task to manage efficiently.
The increasing regulatory requirements add another layer of complexity to probate cases. UK law firms are under pressure to keep abreast of changes in legislation concerning inheritance tax, capital gains tax, and more. The burden of ensuring that they have the valid Will, correct instructions, advising correctly can detract from the essential task of administering the estate itself.
Overcoming these challenges
To further improve efficiency during the probate administration process, solicitors can leverage practice and case management systems (PCMS). These are specifically designed to streamline the complex tasks associated with probate cases. They provide a unified platform where solicitors can manage documents, track case progress, and maintain communication with all relevant parties. Utilising workflows to ensure that the correct steps are taken, all documentation is on file and actioned accordingly, and can even be leveraged through integrations to provide a two-way communication centre for clients and third parties to progress and monitor cases 24/7. A modern PCMS can significantly reduce the time spent on manual paperwork, thus freeing solicitors to focus on more pressing aspects of the probate process.
The National Will Register is another resource that can be of immense value to solicitors. The National Will Register has over 10 million Wills on the system. Conducting a Certainty Will Search through The National Will Register ensures you have the correct Will or ensures that there is no Will before proceeding. By providing reassurance that all possible avenues have been explored to find a missing will, it mitigates the risk of administering an estate on an incorrect legal basis.
While there are challenges to probate administration, with strategic planning and process improvement, UK law firms can navigate the complexities and ensure a smooth and efficient probate process.
Recommended for you – The National Will Register provides integration with practice and case management system, P4W