Navigating Probate with Cloud-Based Legal Software

Navigating Probate with Cloud-Based Legal Software

The Estateably Team
February 6, 2024

When someone dies, their property is distributed through probate. As trust and estate professionals know, this process often turns out to be both complex and costly. However, with cloud-based legal software on your side, you can navigate the probate process in a smoother, more streamlined way.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the role of cloud-based legal software in efficiently managing estates during the probate process. We’ll look at the growing trend for legal practices to adopt these new technological solutions, explore some of the benefits, and look at the trends shaping the future of estate management.

Understanding Probate and Its Complexities

Probate is the legal process of validating a will and distributing the deceased’s assets in accordance with their wishes:

  • The executor (as appointed in the will) files the will with the probate court.
  • The court then accepts the validity of the will and officially appoints the executor.
  • The executor identifies beneficiaries, locates and inventorizes assets, and pays off debts and taxes to determine the value of the estate.
  • Finally, the executor makes distributions to the beneficiaries.

While probate might sound straightforward in theory, the process can prove to be complicated in reality. Beneficiaries or other stakeholders might challenge the validity of the will, particularly if they have been left out. Disputes may arise between the beneficiaries, or the beneficiaries might raise a complaint against the executor if they feel the estate is being mismanaged. As a result, it’s crucial to maintain good communication with beneficiaries throughout the process.

The sheer amount of paperwork involved also makes it challenging. Documents need to be gathered and filed with the court. Identifying all the assets and locating potential creditors and beneficiaries can take time. Executors will then need to ensure that tax returns are filed on time and that the estate’s accounts are accurate and up to date.

The Rise of Cloud-Based Solutions in the Legal Landscape

Legal practices are increasingly turning to cloud-based software to streamline operations with platforms that manage everything from document automation to calendar scheduling and time tracking. This trend is transforming the way law firms work, in particular by eliminating their dependence on paper documents. With a cloud-based system, data is stored, managed, and shared in the cloud, allowing lawyers to collaborate more efficiently and work from anywhere.

Today’s legal platforms make light work of the day-to-day business of running a law firm, simplifying tasks such as billing and invoicing or generating standard forms and letters so that lawyers can focus on more high-value, strategic work and deliver the best possible service to their clients.

Advantages of Cloud-Based Legal Software in Probate Management

While cloud-based legal software brings many benefits for law firms in general, it also has specific advantages when it comes to handling estates during probate.


Cloud-based software helps keep sensitive client data safe and secure during the probate process. Storing paper documents in a filing cabinet leaves law firms vulnerable to the risks of theft, flood, or fire. On the other hand, the best cloud-based software companies use encryption to keep data secure and back everything up on multiple servers to mitigate against the risk of data loss if there is a disaster. Law firms can also ensure security by adopting best practices such as access controls and multifactor authentication to log into the system.


One of the main challenges of probate management is the time it can take. However, using cloud-based legal software with dedicated probate tools can streamline the process considerably and help executors and law firms track assets accurately, even in complex estates. For example, Estateably’s accounting software offers instant currency conversions to make it easier to manage international assets. The latest software also makes it possible to create legal forms and letters from standard templates and reduce the time spent on routine document generation.


Compliance is essential throughout the probate process, and cloud-based software specifically designed for probate can help executors and law firms operate within the regulations. Task management tools help lawyers stay on top of deadlines to avoid any late filing penalties, while the leading document automation software has compliance built in to help generate court-compliant documents, forms, and letters for your particular jurisdiction. And because it’s based in the cloud, the software can be updated automatically in accordance with any new regulations without the need for in-house IT support.


Executors have an obligation to keep beneficiaries and other stakeholders informed throughout the probate process, and cloud-based software comes into its own here. The new generation of solutions helps calculate the value of even the most complex estates, keeping track of market and currency fluctuations and producing up-to-date accountings at the click of a button. Meanwhile, client management tools and instant reporting make it easy to keep beneficiaries in the loop and mitigate against the risk of a misunderstanding or a dispute.

The Future of Estate Management: Trends in Cloud-Based Solutions

Dovetailing with emerging trends, cloud-based solutions are perfectly placed to help law firms navigate the future of estate management.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is creating a buzz in many industries, and trust and estate administration is no exception. The latest technologies use generative AI to:

  • Help create the many letters and documents involved in estate management
  • Accurately capture physical documents so that they can be digitized
  • Analyze vast amounts of data to check for conflicts

Legal software also helps trust and estates professionals deliver a modern service that meets client expectations. When clients and beneficiaries can use a mobile phone app or online booking system to make an appointment with their doctor, why should scheduling a meeting with their executor be any different? Electronic signatures are also helping to usher in a new era of convenience and efficiency.

Finally, cloud-based platforms help law firms value and manage new types of assets. Digital assets such as cryptocurrencies are transforming people’s personal portfolios and the estates they leave behind. Software is a powerful tool when it comes to valuing and managing these assets effectively.


Cloud-based legal software is revolutionizing all aspects of the legal profession. It has the potential to transform estate administration by improving efficiency, compliance, transparency, and security throughout the probate process.

Estateably is a one-stop platform for trust and estates professionals that streamlines the probate process through document automation, report generation, and robust accounting tools. Schedule a free demo to see how we can power your practice.

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