Hear from Estatesearch, winners at the British Wills and Probate Awards 2020

On Thursday 22 October 2020, professionals from across the wills and probate sector came together to celebrate the successes and achievements of the industry is what has been a challenging year, at the British Wills and Probate Awards 2020.

The awards, which was back for it’s third year, took to the virtual stage and was hosted by ex-Royal correspondent, Jennie Bond, alongside headline sponsor Arken.legal (UK), and champagne sponsor Executor Solutions.

500 people watched the winning organisations take the crown this year. The full list of winners is available here. The online event is available to watch here.

Let’s hear from Best Use of Technology Award winner, Estatesearch

About the Best Use of Technology Award

This award goes to a firm or legal supplier who has shown great imitative by implementing technology which has enhanced the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of their business, or demonstrated how their technology has delivered an exceptional customer experience.

The winner of this award must have:

  • Implemented technology in a way which has created a competitive advantage within the previous 12 months
  • Shown originality in the deliver of the technology or the way in which it has enhanced their business
  • Demonstrated strong teamwork and co-operation in the introduction and use of the initiative.

EstateSearch were shortlisted alongside:

  • My Probate Partner (Highly Commended)
  • Probate Property Solutions

During the judging process, the judges decided that Estatesearch were the worthy winners saying:

“A strong, innovative product offering a combined service with a clear understanding of client requirements.”

How did you feel winning the Best Use of technology Award this year?

We were absolutely elated to have won. It was somewhat of a surprise that we almost weren’t ready for as it was the first award announced, and I think we were still busy topping up drinks.

So, who are Estatesearch? What do you do?

Estatesearch are a small but effective team, comprising Tony, Jon and myself along with our developer Tom. Our goal is to build legal tech that helps practitioners works more efficiently and mitigates risk, streamlining estate due diligence. Presently, our secure online portal puts a variety of due diligence services in one place, and includes our combined Asset & Liability search helping Executors, Administrators, Deputies and Attorneys more confidently identify all estate accounts.

How has your organisation developed in the last 12 months and navigated the added complexity of the coronavirus pandemic?

We’ve made significant technical improvements in the past 12 months, much credit to our new CTO, Tom. By bringing development capacity in house we’ve been able to overhaul our order process making it much more intuitive and efficient. It’s also enabled us to react quickly to changing customer or supplier requirements, which has been important for our continued growth throughout the pandemic.

What’s next on the cards for you?

We’re still considered newcomers to the market so we’re continuing to raise awareness of emerging risks in estate administration and how we can help professionals and their clients. We’ve got plans to refine and improve our existing product range and introduce new products, but most excitingly we’re currently exploring opportunities for AI and machine learning to support the estate due diligence process.

What advice would you give someone thinking of joining the Wills and Probate sector?

I’d say do it. It’s a rapidly changing sector, where your actions directly influence a person’s life. The human stories involved are fascinating and while there are frustrations and battles, knowing you’ve helped secure a better outcome for a vulnerable client or family is indescribable. The passion I see in private client practitioners for their work is, in my experience, unrivalled by any other area of the law.

Why is the British Wills and Probate Awards event, which recognises excellence and highlights achievements in the industry, so important to the industry, especially this year?

It’s a growing sector going through rapid change, both technologically and in terms of the consumer requirements and expectations. In my opinion the BW&P awards play an important role in recognising successful innovation among legal providers and legal suppliers in the face of changing market conditions, helping highlight services or approaches that exist for others to benefit from.

Everyone at Today’s Wills and Probate congratulates all those who were shortlisted in this year’s awards.

More information about the British Wills and Probate Awards can be found here.

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