Product / service updates

Helping Firms Maximise the Potential of their Will Bank

By Estatesearch on May 15th, 2024

Leading legal technology provider Estatesearch has launched a new Will Bank Management Service to help private client practitioners manage data more efficiently and maximise their potential pipeline of work from existing customers.The unique service also allows firms to understand their client dataset in terms of mortality and comply with GDPR.  Several legal firms are already using Estatesearch’s Will Bank Management service successfully.

Estatesearch which was recently named as the Best Legal Industry Service Provider and the Best Technology and Innovation Provider at the Probate Industry Awards, delivers enhanced operational efficiencies, improved risk mitigation and provides access to value-added services to legal firms.

Ben Furlong, Managing Director, Estatesearch explains: “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  Will Banks, like any other database, becomes out of date quickly if not routinely managed.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  Our clients expressed concerned about out-of-date information which might lead to them attempting to contact deceased clients, or sending letters containing personal information to old addresses.

“Cleaning and maintaining databases can be time consuming and poses a challenge for busy private client practitioners heavily focused on day-to-day caseloads.  That’s why we have spent the past 18 months working with clients to develop an innovative, but cost-effective management tool to help private client solicitors.” 

Dean Miller, Records Governance Manager Shakespeare Martineau said: As a national law firm operating multiple offices we have a vast range of data obtained from different practices over which can be of varying format and quality. We recently identified a pilot project using data from one of our offices with the aim of better understanding our client base. Working with Estatesearch we were able to quickly and easily screen the data to understand the potential issues and create a business case for cleaning our data. The Estatesearch service yielded 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.”

Our 3-stage approach

The Will Bank Management service includes three stages – Screening, Cleansing and Notifications. The initial screen provides a free health check of the testator database. This enables firms to see the percentage of out-of-date records, before proceeding with a full cleanse.

Ben Furlong continues: “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. 

“Our bespoke platform pulls information from several data sources to complete the cleansing phase, identifying deceased subjects and the date of death as well as forwarding addresses for anyone who may have moved. Finally, our ongoing monitoring phase notifies firms of life events which may impact files and ensures databases can be updated easily, while alerting the professional to the potential needs of a client.”

Reducing overheads

Estatesearch’s Will Bank Management Service also reduces overheads in relation to ‘return to senders’ and ad hoc database administration in addition to reducing off site storage costs for invalid or deceased Wills.

Furlong concludes: “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 to maintain the health and integrity of their Will Bank while also maximizing the opportunity for probate work at the same time.”

For further information see the Will Bank Management Page or contact [email protected]

Originally published on Solicitors Journal, 15th May 2024.

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