By Legal Futures Associate Exizent
- 87% of those who recently lost someone found dealing with the administrative side of their death stressful
- 36% said dealing with probate was ‘harder than they expected’
- 40% say their mental health was affected by the process
- 64% of legal professionals saw their clients become visibly stressed by the process
The inefficient processes surrounding probate and estate administration are adding unnecessary stress to the lives of the bereaved, according to research from bereavement platform Exizent.
This International Stress Awareness Week, Exizent is shining a light on the added stress experienced by the bereaved, professionals, institutions and executors tasked with sorting out the administration involved when someone passes away.
Exizent’s annual Bereavement Index found that 87% of those who recently lost someone found dealing with the administrative side of their death stressful. Furthermore, 40% of people saw their mental health decline as a result, with women twice as likely (61%) to be impacted as men (38%). More than a third (36%) said dealing with their loved one’s affairs was harder than they’d expected, highlighting the lack of knowledge around probate and related processes – 33% of executors knew nothing about the process before being tasked with it.
Law firms confirmed the negative impact estate administration has on people, with 64% of those surveyed saying their clients become visibly stressed by the process. In 39% of cases, legal professionals said someone in their firm needed to offer emotional support to the client.
Nick Cousins, Co-Founder and CEO of Exizent, and author of the Bereavement Index, believes that technology and better communication can help improve the process for everyone. He said: “Death is difficult for everyone, and sadly the processes that come with it can add to the burden, with legal professionals themselves admitting that the probate process is not fit for purpose. 88% think probate is ‘slow and inefficient’ and 52% admit the time it takes is ‘unreasonable’.
“It’s critical that stress is given due attention – it has a huge impact on overall wellbeing, from work life to home life and handling the unforeseen. Well designed technology can and should be utilised to resolve the stresses of daily life. We believe estate administration should be simpler, and that modern tech solutions can make this a reality. We are working to make it easier for legal services firms and institutions to interact to sort out what is so badly needed to ease the burden on the bereaved.”