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What help is available if you’re administering an estate remotely?

While lockdown has slowed down many areas of life, administering an estate cannot be put on hold. But how is the industry responding to the needs of those who are having to administer estates remotely?

Here at Napthens our specialist teams have been working together (remotely) and making good use of technology to help our clients through the process:

  • Thanks to our investment in technology, client identification is now quicker and secure through our new app
  • All postal communication is scanned and stored electronically so lawyers and their assistants can consider and process post from the office or home
  • We are registered for the online probate registration service to enable simple probates to be sent electronically
  • Notification to banks is largely processed through various electronic portals so we can obtain financial information, pay funerals and obtain Inheritance Tax funds all online

Online searches

A new offering has proved extremely beneficial for our clients – our Probate Asset Search service.  This is an online search facility to locate records of any assets or liabilities in the name of the deceased for the last 10 years. So, even if self-isolation means family cannot enter a property to find paperwork, we can locate the details remotely. Our relationship with Certainty Will Register means we can still search for missing wills anywhere in the country.

We have found this a great relief to clients, many of whom are in greater distress because they were possibly unable to see loved ones before they passed away. While HMRC and the Registry struggle with large numbers of applications with reduced staff, there has been no amendment to the time period for filing papers and clients are relieved we have the facility to help and support them even though face to face meetings may not be possible.

Other considerations

The stamp duty holiday has made many people who were postponing a sale, decide to place their property on the market and our residential conveyancing colleagues are seeing high numbers of instructions. We are also finding clients much more considered about how an inheritance should be invested as they are concerned about future economic conditions. Our colleagues at Napthens Wealth Management are on hand if needed to discuss their aims and provide professional financial advice.

We’re here to help

And throughout these strange times, our Probate team has been working closely with our colleagues in Estate Planning to ensure our clients have the best tax and succession planning in place.

So, while technology helps the process along, that personal touch will always be important.  Please speak to one of our advisers to get the specialist advice and help you need at a difficult time.