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Probate News 6 - November 2018

In this issue, we launch more new resources to support you and your clients, new guidance on deed transactions, updates to the engagement letter helpsheet and information ahead of the probate diversity survey.

 

New guidance on deed transactions including dividend waivers

The preparation of deeds is a reserved activity that can only be carried out by an individual accredited for deeds. Access the new guidance on contractual transactions.

The guidance on accountants and legal services has recently been updated to reflect examples of transactions involving deeds that have been encountered in practice, including dividend waivers. Deeds are required in transactions of a contractual nature where there is an absence of consideration on one side of the transaction. For example, in the case of a dividend waiver, the company benefits from not having to pay out this money while the shareholder does not get anything in return. The formalisation of this waiver is a deed, and the preparation of deeds is a reserved activity that can only be carried out by an individual accredited for deeds.

 

Guidance on the next probate diversity data collection

As a requirement of your firm’s probate accreditation, your firm is required to collect, report and publish diversity data about your employees every two years. 

The next survey deadline is 30 April 2019.

As well as being a regulatory requirement, the context for collecting this data is instructive and it can provide a competitive advantage. Recent initiatives such as gender pay gap reporting in the UK and the widespread reporting of sexual harassment in the film industry, have pushed the agenda forward significantly. 

 

Talk Probate - Connect with your peers via this new online community

Talk Probate is here to help you share knowledge and experiences with other ICAEW accredited practitioners. Visit icaew.com/talkprobate to login with your usual ICAEW username and password.

You need to be logged in and a member of the Talk Probate community to view this content. Regulatory contacts at ICAEW probate accredited firms are given free automatic access to this community. If you are not a probate regulatory contact or if you are having trouble logging in, please contact our Technical Advisory team +44 (0)1908 248 250.

Turning on notifications for new posts will ensure you are made aware when a question or discussion has been posted and will help you make the most of the community.

Click the ‘Update your settings’ banner and select notifications to personalise your alerts. These can be changed at any time.

Please contact our technical advisory team on +44 (0) 1908 240 250 if you need help to login.

New consumer-facing probate information

Point your clients to the consumer area of our website for a short video – Why choose an accountant for probate services – that highlights the benefits of choosing an ICAEW accredited accountant.

Look out for the video on our social media channels in the coming weeks.

We have also added client case studies and a new webpage, probate explained, containing  information your clients may find useful such as a glossary of key terms and what kind of information they should gather at the start of the probate process. We hope you will link to this information or use it as a template for your communications.

New engagement letter guidance and example wording

We have recently updated our engagement letters helpsheet which contains guidance on what should be included in an engagement letter to a client. There is a specific section relating to probate services and also a list of what has been updated.

New probate resources

In October we wrote to our probate accredited firms to launch a host of new probate resources:

ICAEW’s guide for probate accredited firms

The guide is packed full of hints and tips from other ICAEW probate accredited firms. As well as case studies, it also contains practical advice and marketing tips to help your firm boost this revenue stream.

 

Probate success stories

Hear directly from other ICAEW probate accredited firms who are making a success of probate services. 

 

Probate webinar: what you need to know
If you are preparing for an ICAEW probate monitoring visit or would like to understand or update your knowledge on the regulations and how Practice Assurance applies to probate, watch parts two and three of this short webinar.

 

Other useful probate resources

ICAEW accredited for probate logo
To help your firm promote your probate service to current and future clients the ICAEW accredited for probate logo is available for all probate accredited firms to use.

 

Probate help
Visit this page for probate FAQs, checklists, helpsheets and more.