Advancing funds early helps with estate commitments and managing timelines
Coping with the loss of a loved one can be heartbreaking. And for many trustees and beneficiaries, it also marks the beginning of a complicated and time-consuming probate process.
Estate and inheritance claims can take months or even years before they are resolved and once the entitlement is confirmed, additional time is required to transfer the funds, assets and property. In the meantime, trustees must continue to meet the estate’s financial obligations, such as making mortgage payments or paying maintenance fees. In addition to these unexpected expenses, trustees must manage the cost of funeral arrangements, legal fees, probate taxes and accounting services for the passing of accounts — all while balancing their own personal preexisting bills and expenses.
“In many cases, the entitlement is clear but the duration to payout is not,” says Cindy Williams, Vice President, at BridgePoint Financial. “For these people, the delay in receiving funds can be a stressful and frustrating time.”
The impact of COVID-19 has compounded these existing challenges, resulting in further delays to an already lengthy process. In many jurisdictions, including Toronto, already overwhelmed court systems face added delays, increased processing times for probate applications and longer wait times for final taxes and clearing certificates. People are also facing greater financial instability due to the pandemic, adding another dimension of concern for those awaiting estate distribution.
Estate lawyers can often find themselves facing the difficult task of fielding inquiries and constant follow-ups from increasingly impatient beneficiaries who are looking for specific timelines regarding when the inheritance will be paid out. This can be taxing and time-consuming for lawyers as providing a definitive answer is not always possible. BridgePoint Financial’s Inheritance Loan — a quick, short-term form of funding that provides beneficiaries access to a portion of the funds or assets to which they’re entitled — addresses the issue at its root cause. It provides financial support and relief for the trustee and/or beneficiary while they navigate the process, which in turn creates a optimal working environment for the estate lawyer.
The assessment process is as simple and stress-free as possible for both the beneficiary and the estate lawyer. BridgePoint obtains documentation from the borrower directly, and only requires the lawyer to confirm the information obtained, such as the content of the will and the status of liquidation of assets. The loan doesn’t impact the estate in any way and repayment is only required after the estate is distributed.
“An inheritance loan relieves a substantial amount of pressure and the process runs much more smoothly for all parties,” says Williams. “It gives lawyers some breathing room — and they can get back to doing what they do best.”