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Probate - Support Your Clients and Generate New Business

By Jane Mather

The introduction of probate as a regulated activity for accountants opens up a whole new opportunity for the industry. An opportunity to provide additional support to your clients, to save them money and generate more business for your firm.

Our role as Chartered Accountants is evolving. We are increasingly becoming trusted advisors to our clients, their businesses and their families. Many of us are already providing tax planning and estate accounts services to our clients, so facilitating non-contentious probate work for our clients is a very natural extension of our existing service offering.

What’s more, with fewer of us conducting audits, it’s vital that we, as a profession, are seeking out new ways to adapt to the changing marketplace and take advantage of emerging opportunities. Probate is one such opportunity that can offer significant benefits to your clients and your business.

Why Consider Offering Probate Services?

Probate is relevant to all your clients; from the individual who runs an owner-managed business through to the directors of a multi-national PLC. They all have families and probate is something they are all likely to need support with at some point in their lives.

In addition, probate is a service that is very well suited to our skill set and client relationships. We will likely see our clients regularly throughout the year. From a client’s point of view, it is far less risky and more beneficial to use their trusted accountant to carry out the probate work, than enlisting the services of someone they may have never met before.

What’s more, if you are already providing tax planning services to your clients, you will probably already have details of all their financial assets. This can make the whole process of probate quicker, easier and less stressful for the client. It can also result in saving the client thousands, compared with using the services of a solicitor.

How Do I Become Accredited for Probate?

To become accredited for probate, you will first need to undertake relevant training and pass an assessment, before submitting an application to ICAEW or ACCA and paying the appropriate fee.

SWAT’s Certificate in Probate and Estate Administration is a 2 day training course and assessment which provides all the training and certification you need as part of your application. For more details and to book onto the course, please visit www.swat.co.uk/probate.

The ICAEW and ACCA websites provide a wealth of information for anyone considering carrying out probate work, including information on the application process, details of fees, case studies and more. For more details, please click on a link below.

Promoting your probate services

It is well worth considering how you will promote this new service to clients once you have been accredited. This is a great opportunity to get your administration staff involved. They will likely have some ideas for promoting this new service and by doing so, you are educating your staff about this new service at the same time.

Here are some initial marketing suggestions you may wish to consider:

  • Website articles / adverts
  • Information / adverts in your client newsletter (on a regular basis)
  • Write to all your existing clients to notify them about this new service offering
  • Advertisements in the local press and other relevant media
  • Consider setting up alliances with local organisations who could act as a source of referrals for you (such as funeral directors or local firms of solicitors who don’t offer probate services)

Ultimately, how you decide to promote this new service is up to you, but the key is to do something! Put simply, your clients won’t know about this new service unless you tell them.

In Summary

As a profession, we have a responsibility to support our clients with their financial affairs. Providing probate services is simply another way we can achieve this, that benefits both the client and your business.

Further Information

For more details and information on how SWAT can help provide you with the training required to apply for probate, visit www.swat.co.uk/Probate

 

June 2018 

 

Disclaimer
This article is published with the understanding that SWAT UK Limited is not engaged in rendering legal or professional services. The material contained in this article neither purports, nor is intended to be, advice on any particular matter. This article is an aid and cannot be expected to replace professional judgment. SWAT UK accepts no responsibility or liability to any person in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether sole or partial, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this article.