You are here: Home - Retirement - Retirement planning - News -

Probate ‘causes financial and mental health issues’

Written by: Emma Lunn
Dealing with the administrative side of death causes financial issues for one in four people, and mental health problems for two in five.

In its first annual Bereavement Index, Exizent found that 25% of people dealing with the administrative side of death suffered financial difficulties as a result. Four in 10 (40%) saw their mental health decline, with women (61%) twice as likely to be impacted as men (38%).

A quarter (25%) experienced financial difficulty when administering an estate. On average, it takes about five months to complete probate, but in one in 11 (9%) of cases it takes at least a year. More than half (52%) of those who recently dealt with probate said it took longer than they’d expected. In at least one in four (25%) cases the process was delayed.

Of those who recently dealt with probate for a loved one, 36% said it was harder than they’d expected. Overall, 87% found the process stressful – and of those, 20% found it extremely stressful.

Legal professionals themselves are also seeing how the administration involved when someone passes away affects people. Two thirds (64%) said their clients become visibly stressed by the process, with 39% saying that most clients dealing with bereavement need emotional supporta from someone within the firm. This just shows how important a probate lawyer is when administering an estate.

The task of estates administration is complicated further when the deceased’s financial affairs are not in order. The Bereavement Index shows that 37% of accounts are only discovered during probate, and in one in 20 (5%) cases, no assets are known at the start of the discovery process.

Most legal professionals (60%) say that on average, less than half of their clients have all their affairs in order when they die.

One in seven estate executors (15%) only learned of their assigned role after the person had died, which is worrying given that solicitors rely on the knowledge of the executor and the documentation they provide to verify assets and liabilities. This Probate Attorney in San Jose makes it as easy as possible for his clients.

Nick Cousins, founder and CEO of Exizent, said: “Death is a difficult time for everyone. And sadly, as we have discovered in our report, the processes that come with it can be lengthy, repetitive, and complicated, dragging things out for everyone involved. At an already challenging time, handling estates administration is an added burden for the bereaved, with legal professionals themselves admitting that the probate process is not fit for purpose.

“We believe estates administration should be simpler, and that modern technology solutions can make this a reality. We are also pushing for ‘open finance’ for the deceased to make asset discovery much easier, because – as our research shows – this is a major cause of stress and delay.

“We want to make it easier for legal services firms and institutions to work together to sort out what is so badly needed to ease the burden on the bereaved.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

How to get 5% interest without tying up your savings for years

You don't have to lock your money away to get an above-average return on your savings.
How to get 5% interest without tying up your savings for years

130 million old £1 coins still out there: what to do if you have one

An estimated 131 million old round £1 coins have yet to be returned to the Royal Mint, nearly three years afte...
130 million old £1 coins still out there: what to do if you have one

How to a write a winning property offer letter

You’ve viewed the perfect property but there’s likely to be stiff competition from other buyers. Here are five...
How to a write a winning property offer letter

Ryanair jetting towards US flights for £10

Ryanair is on course to achieve its long-held ambition of offering transatlantic flights to the US – and the...

Investing in car parks: a good vehicle for income seekers?

As the search for income continues, many investors are turning to alternatives, with car parks becoming increa...

A quick guide to guarantor loans – in association with Guarantor Loan Comparison

Considering a guarantor loan or becoming a guarantor yourself? Read our essential guide...

Results round-up: Companies to watch this week

Mulberry and more will face the music this week.

Product launches of the week

Select Property Group, Schroders, Leeds Building Society and more have exciting news this week.

Money Tips of the Week