The introduction of ICAEW (and later ACCA) regulation of accountants to perform probate work opened up a whole new opportunity for the industry. An opportunity to provide additional support to clients, to save them money and generate more business for the firm.
Accountants are seen as trusted advisers for all areas of their clients’ financial life, and this if often recognised by a clients’ family. You may already be providing tax planning and estate accounts services to clients, and so performing non-contentious probate work is a natural extension of this existing service.
From a client’s point of view, it is often beneficial to use their trusted accountant, who they see regularly, to carry out the probate work rather than enlisting the services of someone they may have never met before. The process of probate is also likely to be quicker, easier and less stressful for the client.
How do I become accredited for probate?
To become accredited for probate, you will first need to undertake relevant training and pass an assessment (unless exempt) before submitting an application form to ICAEW or ACCA and paying the appropriate fee. Fee scales for accreditation depend on various factors (such as the type of accreditation a firm is seeking and the number of principals.
Both the ICAEW website and ACCA website provide a wealth of information for firms considering applying for accreditation, including full details of the application process, qualifications criteria and fees.
For more details of the probate training course and assessment, click here
Promoting your probate services
Once you have been accredited, you will need to consider how to promote this new service to your client base. This is a great opportunity to get your team involved, as they may have some ideas for promoting this new service, and by included them, they will be able to discuss this new service with the clients that they meet.
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! Your clients won’t know you can offer this new service unless you tell them about it.
Your clients rely on your services to help support them with their financial affairs. Providing probate services is simply another way you can achieve this, that benefits both you and your clients.
For more details of how we can help your firm provide probate services, click here.