Managing the estate administration process on behalf of a deceased loved one causes stress, frustration and mental health health problems for the bereaved, according to findings from Exizent.
Data released this Mental Health Awareness Week found 40% of people saw their mental health decline when dealing with the administrative side of bereavement, with women (61%) twice as likely to be adversely affected as men.
Just over a third disclosed that dealing with a loved one’s affairs was harder than they anticipated while 87% said they found the process stressful, with 20% of this group finding it extremely stressful.
While 52% of those who recently dealt with probate reported that it took longer than they had thought previously, in the vast majority of cases at least some of the deceased’s assets were not know about at the beginning of the probate process and in 5% of cases, nothing was known about their assets.
Putting life insurance policies in trust is typically one way that can help to smooth the claims process for bereaved relatives.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact 15% of estate executors only learned about their role after the person had passed, while 33% had known absolutely nothing before the process started and just 4% said they knew a lot about the probate process.
Furthermore, law firms said they could see the negative impact estate administration has on people with 64% saying their clients became visibly stressed by the process.
And in 39% of cases, legal professionals said someone in their firm will need to offer emotional support to the client.