Inheritance tax is just one of the number of costs people will have to deal with upon the death of a loved one. Charged at 40 percent above a particular threshold, it will often be the case the levy will come out of any funds a person or people were set to inherit. When dealing with a person’s assets, probate is also necessary, but if someone’s estate is complicated, a litany of costs could ensue.
This was an opinion recently shared by James Armstrong, who lost his wife, father and both parents within six years.
He said: “Organising the financial affairs of a close family member who has passed away is extremely upsetting.
“You are already grieving, meaning your emotions are all over the place, so the last thing you need is a complicated legal process to exacerbate things.
“But sadly, that is exactly what happens.”
Of course, it is likely the probate process can be assisted somewhat by a person being proactive about their affairs.
Getting one’s estate in order before passing away can often be key to relieving some of the administrative burdens which would be otherwise present.
However, legal professionals also believe an easier asset discovery process could help, alongside better technology.
Nick Cousins, Founder and CEO of Exizent, commented on the matter.
He said: “Death is a difficult time for everyone.
“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 any already challenging time, handling estates administration is an added burden for the bereaved.
“Legal professionals themselves have admitted that the probate process is not fit for purpose.”
Mr Cousins has suggested harnessing digital technologies in order to make processes easier for those left behind.
He added: “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.”