<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1223437568524110&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Why it’s beneficial to use a professional estate administration provider

Posted by Nigel Merchant | 14-Aug-2023 14:41:39

When you’re faced with the responsibility of being named as an Executor in a Will, there are many things to consider. The tasks included in the role can be time-consuming and involve complex legal jargon, which can prove overwhelming during the difficult time of losing someone. Whilst an Executor is required to deal with the estate, help is available, and they have the option of instructing a professional provider. In this blog, we will provide an overview of the Executor role and why it can be beneficial to seek professional support.


What are the duties of an Executor or Administrator?

If you are named as an Executor (when there is a Will) or appointed Administrator (when there is no Will), you are responsible for a number of tasks. This can include:

The entire process of dealing with someone’s estate and distributing it to their beneficiaries is called estate administration. Many people get confused between this term and probate, but obtaining probate is just one part of the wider estate administration process.

Click here to read our blog on the difference between probate and estate administration.


What are my options for probate and estate administration?

If you are the Personal Representative (Executor or Administrator) of an estate, you are responsible for ensuring the process is completed correctly and as efficiently as possible. However, this doesn’t mean you have to take on everything yourself. Whilst you can choose to complete the process alone or with the other named Executors, many choose to instruct a professional on their behalf.

There are many different options when instructing a professional provider; you may choose to go with a local Solicitor, a provider recommended in the person’s Will, or another professional estate administration service. Each provider will likely offer a range of different services and quotes, so it’s important to compare costs and what’s included. Ask plenty of questions to make sure you understand the service offered; you can also ask for an overview of third-party costs so that you know what to expect from the outset.

Here at Kings Court Trust, we offer a range of estate solutions to suit your needs; whether you want us to apply for the Grant of Probate only or take on the full estate administration process, we will talk you through your options as clearly as possible. Our friendly Client Services Team is your first point of contact, and they will offer impartial advice and provide you with a quote so that you can make an informed decision.



The benefits of appointing a professional estate administration provider

Doing probate and/or estate administration yourself is possible, but it can make an already difficult time more stressful. The tasks involved are time-consuming and may involve a lot of complex paperwork. When deciding whether to undertake everything yourself, there are some things that you should consider.

  • Liability – the Personal Representative is legally and financially liable for any mistakes or other complications during the estate administration process. This includes any claims against the estate (e.g. from beneficiaries who are unhappy with how their inheritance has been managed).
  • Complexity – applying for probate, managing property, and dealing with other assets can be complicated. You should consider whether you have the knowledge to manage everything that could be involved.
  • Time – as every estate is different, it’s hard to predict how long the estate administration process might take; sometimes seemingly simple estates have hidden complexities. In addition, the Probate Registry is experiencing significant delays. Whilst a professional cannot bypass these delays, they can reduce the risk of mistakes in the application and avoid prolonging the process even more.


Should I appoint a professional Executor in my Will?

If you are making or updating your Will and considering who to name as your Executor(s), it is worth considering choosing a professional Executor. You can appoint up to four Executors in your will, and one of these can be a professional provider. This ensures that the estate is dealt with even if your other Executor(s) choose not to take on the responsibility or they pass away beforehand and the Will is not updated. If an Executor dies during the process of administering an estate, the chain of representation will ensure that the tasks are continued seamlessly.

Professional Executors can include Solicitors, Will Writers, Financial Advisers, or estate administration specialists such as Kings Court Trust. Similarly to choosing a provider when you are an Executor yourself, you should carefully consider your options when naming a professional Executor in your Will. This includes price, service, and whether the provider is regulated.


How much does a professional estate administration provider charge?

There are several ways in which a probate/estate administration provider will charge. This can include a percentage fee based on the value of the estate, an hourly rate, and a fixed fee. Here at Kings Court Trust, we will provide an upfront, transparent quote for a fixed fee that is based on the work involved, not the value of the estate. We believe this is the fairest charging method, as our fee is directly linked to the work required.

Click here to learn more about our fixed fee pricing for probate and estate administration.

The cost of instructing a professional can usually be paid from the estate if there are sufficient funds available so that you are not left out of pocket. If the money from the estate is not available immediately and you are required to pay professional costs upfront, they can typically be reimbursed from the estate later. The Executor should keep a record of every expense paid; all reasonable expenses can be claimed back from the estate. This can include the probate fee, valuation services, property clearance, legal fees, travel expenses, Inheritance Tax fees, and more. The Executor must not claim any unreasonable expenses, as this could lead to delays in the estate administration process. Beneficiaries are entitled to request to see the estate accounts to ensure that all the expenses are reasonable.



The individual(s) responsible for administering the estate, as named in the Will.


The individual(s) responsible for administering the estate when there is no Will. They will be appointed by the court.

Personal Representative

The umbrella term for Executors and Administrators.

Grant of Probate

The legal document that Executors are sometimes required to obtain. This gives them the authority to administer the estate; the process is often referred to as probate.

Grant of Letters of Administration

The legal document that Administrators are sometimes required to obtain. This gives them the authority to administer the estate.

Estate administration

The process of dealing with the deceased’s estate including all assets, debts, taxes, and distributing inheritance.


The term used when someone dies without a Will. Their beneficiaries and Administrator(s) will be appointed according to the rules of intestacy.

Chain of representation

The legal framework in place to replace an Executor if they pass away during the estate administration process.

Inheritance Tax

A tax that may be payable on the estate; the threshold of tax-free inheritance is currently £325,000, but there are various reasons why Inheritance Tax may or may not be payable.


Kings Court Trust is a specialist provider that offers award-winning solutions for probate and estate administration. Whether you need a hand obtaining the Grant of Probate, completing the complicated tax and legal work, or anything in between, you’re in safe hands with our expert team.

If you have any questions about probate, estate administration, or instructing a professional provider, call our Client Services Team on 0300 303 9000 or fill in the form below.


Author: Nigel Merchant

Nigel Merchant is a Technical Manager at Kings Court Trust, where he has worked for over 15 years. Nigel has conducted over 2,000 family meetings and built up a huge amount of technical knowledge to share with partners and clients. Nigel has a calm and empathetic delivery which helps to achieve the business’ purpose of helping families to move on. Previously, Nigel worked at HSBC bank for over 25 years in the branch network, lastly as a Branch Manager and Personal Banking Manager, highlighting that customer service is a key driver for Nigel.

Topics: Estate Administration, Executors, Probate