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What do we want to know about death?

by LLP Finance Reporter
27th Nov 23 4:02 pm

When it comes to the administrative procedures surrounding death, there are a lot of complex administrative procedures that need to be handled and a lot of specific jargon that goes along with it.

Final Duties, the UK’s most experienced probate brokers, have analysed internet search interest in the common subjects surrounding death to find out what aspects of the process people are most interested in learning more about and how this has changed over the past six months.

An interest score represents interest relative to maximum search popularity. It does not refer to the overall number of searches, but rather a term’s popularity. A score of 100 indicates maximum popularity.

Probate +22%

The research suggests that most people are keen to understand more about the probate service and, as such, solicitors who handle death-related matters. Interest in such searches has seen a 22% uptick in the last six months.

Probate is the legal and financial process of dealing with the property, money, and possessions of a person who has died. It also includes the process of ensuring that a will is legitimate and valid, while also confirming who has authority to administer the estate.

Before the named executor (see below) can begin handling the deceased’s assets, it’s often the case that they have to apply for a ‘grant of probate’, which gives them express permission to oversee the estate.

Beneficiaries +22%

Searches related to beneficiaries have also increased by 22% in the last six months.

A beneficiary is usually a person who is named in the will as a recipient of some or all of the deceased’s estate. In other words, the person or people who are inheriting the money, possessions, or assets listed in the will.

Wills and will writing + 13%

Search interest for ‘wills’ and ‘will writing’ have also seen a significant increase, increasing by 13% in the past six months.

A will is a formal document in which a person states who will inherit their assets after death, otherwise known as the beneficiaries. But it can also include other vital information such as who should become the legal guardian of a child if their current parents or guardians die.

In order to ensure a will is valid and adhered to, it’s important to have it written and supervised by a solicitor who specialises in will writing. If a formal will does not exist, the fate of the estate left behind cannot be guaranteed and the decision-making process can be long and arduous.

Executor + 12%

Searches around ‘executors’ have increased by 12% in the last six months.

An executor is the person(s) formally tasked with administering the deceased’s estate and the assets therewithin.

The executor will often be named in the will, and can either be a trusted friend or family member, or it can be a professional such as a solicitor. The executor is responsible for overseeing the sale, distribution and general handling of the estate.

Inheritance +4%

Searches related to ‘inheritance’ have also seen an increase, with interest growing by 4% over six months.

Inheritance refers to receiving the personal assets of a person after they die. Exactly what each beneficiary will inherit is outlined in the will and can include the property, money, titles, entitlements, and even personal debts a person leaves behind.

Managing Director of Final Duties, Jack Gill, said, “The death of a family member or loved one is always a difficult time, and the administrative procedures that living relatives then have to engage with can be daunting. Often, they’re simply too much to handle at such a sad time.

As such, those tasked with taking care of the processes following a death will often turn to the internet for an understanding about who needs to do what and when, not to mention the big question of how.

And while Google can certainly point you towards some simple guidance, this is rarely in-depth and never tailored to anyone’s specific situation or needs. Furthermore, a Google search cannot actually help you actively handle the final duties. We exist as a company to provide solutions to both of these problems, whether it be in reaction to a recent death, or in preparation for when the sad day does come.”

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