In August 2014, ICAEW gained the power to regulate probate - the first organisation outside the legal profession to do so. Until this time only solicitors could undertake probate work.
Since then many accountancy firms have gained the accreditation to offer these additional services to clients and recently the 300th firm has been added to the Register of ICAEW probate accredited firms.
Elaine Griffiths, Head of Regulatory Practice said: ‘this is a fantastic achievement. When ICAEW was first authorised, we anticipated 150 to 200 firms would take a licence, so we are delighted that we have been able to authorise over 300 firms already.
While the application process is rigorous and often includes additional training, probate work offers firms a real business opportunity. Combining inheritance tax planning and probate services enables firms to position themselves as a one-stop-shop for business advisory services.'
A quick guide to probate
Q. What is probate?A. Probate is the financial and legal process of dealing with a deceased’s estate.
Q. Why should accountants offer probate services?A. It sits well with the existing work of accountancy firms. The combination of accounting, tax, law and administration skills required means it complements other service offerings within firms and calls on similar skill sets.
Q. Who monitors ICAEW as a probate regulator?A. The Legal Services Board is the independent body responsible for overseeing the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales.
Q. How can my firm become accredited for probate services?A. visit icaew.com/probate to find out how to apply, the criteria, monitoring requirements and the resources available to your firm after accreditation.
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