New Digital Platform Launched to Help Accountants Manage Probate More Efficiently
- 20.07.2021 01:45 pm
Exizent is the first ever platform to connect data, services and the network of people involved when someone passes away.
It enables users to capture all estate information in easy to navigate cases, add relevant personal details, assets and liabilities, upload relevant documents and use Exizent’s expanding range of data searches to quickly populate missing information. Court and tax forms - including PA1 and IHT - can then be pre-populated from case data and exported, and everything is archived securely for reference or further work.
Exizent was initially launched to help legal services firms working for executors to efficiently manage the process of completing and submitting probate applications. Now, in response to the growing number of accountancy firms that manage probate cases for their clients, the platform has launched for accountants too, as Nick Cousins, CEO explains:
“For many years accountants have been supporting clients with probate, as they often have an existing relationship with and extensive knowledge about the deceased’s financial affairs, but historically a solicitor would still have been needed to carry out the legalities.
“That was until 2014, when the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) became the first approved probate regulator and licensing authority outside the legal profession*. This means members are able to carry out probate for their clients and since then, increasing numbers of people are turning to their accountants to handle the process.”
The probate process is understood to be lengthy and time consuming, and often plagued with delays, making the entire experience difficult and complicated for everyone involved. Exizent’s recent ‘Bereavement Index’, which talked to professionals and the bereaved about their experiences discovered that of those that had suffered a loss, 94% found at least part of the bereavement process stressful, and 87% agreed probate was a source of stress.
Nick continues: “We believe the administrative tasks facing families after the death of a loved one should be far easier, and that modern technology solutions and services can make this a reality. We have spent 18 months carefully designing, developing, and testing our product with innovative partners and launched the platform to legal services professionals late in 2020.
“Over the past months we have been working closely with several accountancy firms to ensure the platform is offering them what they need and following a successful pilot with them are excited to now launch the platform to the accountancy sector.”
The next stage of Exizent’s development is to build digital connections with the various institutions that hold data and information about the person who has passed away to help them deal with queries from executors, accountants and legal services firms more efficiently. Exizent is currently piloting this functionality with the Scottish Building Society.