Until last month only solicitors could deal with probate services. Now, as the result of new legislation, The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales can license accountancy firms to provide this service and I am very proud to announce that Morgan Cameron are the first firm in Oxfordshire and one of the first firms of accountants in the country to have been approved.
The application process involved me passing an exam (first one in 30 years!) and felling a couple of trees to complete the paperwork.
We are very excited and are looking forward to offering this new service in future as it is such a logical fit with our existing services.
You might be wondering why you might consider using an accountant instead of a solicitor to deal with this for you when a loved one dies. I think there are several clear advantages:
1. For current clients we already know them and have a lot of financial information already on our files
2. For business clients we are the logical people to help cope with a business when an owner or director dies unexpectedly
3. We plan to approach probate differently from most solicitors, adding value on tax planning but using IT efficiently to streamline the work and providing frequent updates on progress.
4. Probate involves a lot of accounts, tax and some legal work. We understand accounts and tax – probably much better than the average probate lawyer. And now we’ve learned the legal bit too.
5. We build relationships with our clients and look after them long term. We will be looking for tax efficient ways of improving the estate or the beneficiaries – even after death.
Obviously there will always be a few complex probate cases that quite rightly will continue to be dealt with by solicitors but for the rest – we are officially open for probate business from January but if you are interested give us a call sooner.