Co-op Group enhances probate provision

The Group is acquiring Simplify Probate, the UK’s second largest probate provider

The Co-op Group is in the process of acquiring Simplify Probate, the UK’s second largest probate provider, in a bid to transform the later life planning market.

Simplify Probate has been a specialist provider of probate (the legal process for dealing with the estate of someone who has died) and estate administration for more than 25 years. It also runs an established Bereavement Advice Centre which provides access to practical bereavement advice online and by telephone.

The acquisition supports the Group’s ambition to deliver bereavement services for customers and members, says Matt Howells, managing director of its Legal Services and Later Life business.

“We’re very excited about the Co-op’s potential to transform later life planning in the UK and the acquisition of Simplify Probate is a key part of that ambition,” he said. “This agreement will help us increase access to quality, fixed-fee probate services in what is a fragmented market.

“Our focus is on delivering a suite of fully regulated end-to-end services for later life planning, while also promoting a better way of doing business through faster and more transparent way of delivering probate.”

Through its Legal Services and Later Life services, the Group provides products such as wills, probate, lasting power of attorney and funeral plans. Co-op Legal has recently announced significant investment in technology and services to deliver better services.

“We are proud to have built a business that will now combine with the Co-op to create the undisputed leader in the industry,” said David Grossman, CEO, Simplify Group.

“The sale of our probate business to the Co-op allows the Simplify Group to increase our focus and scale in conveyancing and property services. We are thrilled to be entering into a longterm strategic partnership to provide conveyancing and property services to the new enlarged Co-op probate business and look forward to delivering exceptional service to its customers.”