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Estatesearch launches innovative Will Bank Management Service to boost efficiency for legal firms

Estatesearch launches innovative Will Bank Management Service to boost efficiency for legal firms


This innovative service, which already has several legal firms on board, aims to enhance data accuracy, ensure GDPR compliance, and capitalise on potential probate opportunities

Estatesearch, recognised as the Best Legal Industry Service Provider and the Best Technology and Innovation Provider at the Probate Industry Awards, offers solutions that improve operational efficiencies and risk management while providing access to value-added services.

Ben Furlong, Managing Director at Estatesearch, explained the impetus behind the new service: “We were approached by a number of clients looking for advice on how to manage their Will Banks and stay in touch with their clients more effectively. Will Banks, like any other database, become out of date quickly if not routinely managed. According to the Office of National Statistics, there are over 100,000 movers per month and 55,000 deceased per month. Our clients expressed concerns about out-of-date information, which might lead to them attempting to contact deceased clients or sending letters containing personal information to old addresses.”

To address these challenges, Estatesearch has spent the past 18 months developing a cost-effective management tool in collaboration with their clients. This tool is designed to assist private client solicitors in maintaining accurate and up-to-date records without diverting too much time from their daily caseloads.

Dean Miller, Records Governance Manager at Shakespeare Martineau, praised the service: “As a national law firm operating multiple offices, we have a vast range of data from different practices in varying formats and quality. We recently identified a pilot project using data from one of our offices to better understand our client base. Working with Estatesearch, we were able to quickly and easily screen the data to understand potential issues and create a business case for cleaning our data. The Estatesearch service provided extremely helpful data, allowing us to quantify clients who had deceased or changed address, and provided a confidence score for those residing at the known address, which allowed us to tailor our approach to clients. I would happily recommend the Estatesearch Will Bank Cleansing tools and look forward to working with them on our next project.”

The Will Bank Management service operates in three stages: Screening, Cleansing, and Notifications. The initial screening phase offers a free health check of the testator database, enabling firms to identify the percentage of out-of-date records before committing to a full cleanse.

Ben Furlong elaborated on the findings: “So far, our findings suggest that an average of 10% of Will Bank records are deceased. In one example, we identified 60 deceased subjects over 12 months, where the firm was only aware of one in three of those.”

The service’s bespoke platform integrates data from several sources to complete the cleansing phase, identifying deceased subjects and their date of death, as well as forwarding addresses for clients who have moved. The final stage involves ongoing monitoring, which notifies firms of life events that may impact files, ensuring that databases remain up-to-date and alerting professionals to potential client needs.

Additionally, the Will Bank Management Service helps reduce overheads related to ‘return to sender’ mail and ad hoc database administration, while also lowering off-site storage costs for invalid or deceased wills.

Furlong concluded: “Research by Gartner tells us that ‘65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, and it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one satisfied.’ We have developed this service with that in mind, helping firms maintain the health and integrity of their Will Bank while also maximising the opportunity for probate work.”

For more information about the Will Bank Management Service, legal firms can visit the Estatesearch website or contact their customer service team directly.