The Co-op acquires Simplify Probate
The Co-op has cemented its leading position in the UK’s probate market, with the acquisition of Simplify Probate - the UK’s second largest probate provider.
Simplify Probate (previously Independent Trust Corporation (ITC)) has been a specialist provider of Probate and Estate Administration services for over 25 years.
Co-op Legal Services currently provides a range of Life Planning and Legal services including Probate, Will Writing, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Family Law, Employment Law and Personal Injury. With Co-op Funeralcare offering a range of pre-paid funeral plans, the acquisition of Simplify Probate will underpin the Co-op’s growth across the life planning arena.
Matt Howells, Co-op Legal Services and Life Planning Managing Director, has hailed the acquisition as a key part of the Co-op’s ambition to “transform later life planning in the UK”. He added that it will “help the public to access regulated Probate services in what is a fragmented market.”
Benefits of Co-op's probate services
With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for getting Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (excluding VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs.
We can also pay all the costs of a Co-op Funeralcare funeral, providing the Estate owns sufficient assets which can be sold in due course to repay our costs.
Co-op Legal Services is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and offers a range of Estate Administration and Life Planning services to customers. As a benefit of the acquisition of Simplify Probate, Co-op Legal Services will be able to channel additional investment into systems and technology, ultimately delivering greater access to regulated legal services at fixed fee prices.
The Simplify Group also contains Move With Us, a property services company who are at the forefront of the residential market. Move With Us has an established network of estate agents spanning the nation. Co-op Legal Services will work strategically with Move With Us to handle Probate property sales, as part of the Estate Administration service provided to Probate customers.
In the future, Co-op members and customers will benefit from streamlined Estate Administration processes and advancements in the delivery of a wide range of legal services that work for them.
In addition to this, Simplify Probate runs the long established Bereavement Advice Centre, which offers practical advice and support to those struggling with a bereavement. This service is operated online and over the phone, with a wealth of practical guidance and advice available for free on bereavementadvice.org
This service will be made available to Co-op customers and members who are seeking practical, sensitive and sympathetic advice and support following the loss of a loved one.