Frequently Asked Questions

Below you'll find the answers to our most frequently asked estate administration questions

Estate administration

The Executors or Administrators are responsible for the accurate distribution of the estate. This means that if you are named in either role, you will assume legal and financial liability for all of the work that is involved. Should any mistakes be made in the administration process, you will be personally responsible for rectifying them. If you appoint Kings Court Trust, we assume all of these liabilities on your behalf.

Probate (or confirmation in Scotland) is often required to enable a person’s estate to be distributed after their death. It is often used as a generic term to refer to the entire estate administration process. Probate is sometimes not required – for example, if all assets are held in joint names or if the estate that has been left is worth less than £5,000. However, the vast majority of estates do require Probate.

Estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s estate after they’ve died. This normally means dealing with all of their assets (such as property and personal possessions) and liabilities (such as outstanding debts) before transferring whatever is left to the beneficiaries.

Read our guide to estate administration.


If there was no Will in place when the person died, they are said to have died ‘intestate’ and the estate will be distributed in line with the rules of intestacy. A close relative of the deceased will be able to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration from a probate registry. They then become administrators of the estate and have the same legal responsibility as an executor for its distribution.

The Executor named in the Will will need to apply for a Grant of Probate from a probate registry. The Grant of Probate is the document that provides the legal authority that is required to deal with the estate.

Our service

Yes, you can. Estate administration is a time consuming and labour intensive process, one where 80% of clients tell us that they underestimated how much work was involved. If you are considering doing the work yourself, you should be confident that you can:
• Complete all of the legal work, tax calculations and paperwork and spare several hours a week to administer the estate from start to finish
• Contact all of the third parties involved in the administration processes
• Take on legal and financial liability for the process

We recommend that you seek professional legal advice but this doesn’t need to be from a solicitor. In fact, many solicitors only deal with a small number of estates each year and therefore don’t possess specialist knowledge of this area of the law. Kings Court Trust can offer free legal guidance with no obligation – contact us if you have any questions.

In the event of a query or complaint about our website or our services, please contact us in one of the following ways:
• by telephone on 0300 303 9000
• in writing to the Head of Risk and Compliance at Kings Court Trust Ltd, Spectrum House, Bond Street, Bristol, BS1 3LG
• via email A copy of our complaints procedure is available on request. We have a strict internal complaints process that we adhere to, whereby a comprehensive and impartial response to any complaint will be completed within 28 days from receipt. However, if you are still dissatisfied once we have concluded our final review, you may contact the Legal Ombudsman directly to ask that they consider the complaint further. The Legal Ombudsman regulates the service we provide to our customers and more information can be found on their website ( Kings Court Trust is regulated by the CLC which is a Licensing Authority for Probate. Our managers are Simon Hancox, David Masterton, Andrea Pierce (an Authorised Person) and Sarah Bird.

Estate administration is a long and complex legal process, so expect it to take months rather than weeks. As each estate is different, it is almost impossible to tell how long the process will take without knowing more about the specific nature of the estate. We offer one of the most efficient services available.

Kings Court Trust holds client monies in segregated and separate client accounts with strictly controlled access. We are fully regulated which means we contribute to our regulator's compensation fund. In the extraordinarily unlikely event of our ceasing to trade, our regulator takes on responsibility for estate completion/client monies. Our client monies are independently audited by our auditors and our regulator on an annual basis. We have been in business 15 years and of course, have professional indemnity insurance. In fact, we don’t need to be regulated but have chosen to be so to ensure consumers get the protection of our regulator in addition to access to the Legal Services Ombudsman for any services issues, should they arise.

Our customer testimonials

"An excellent professional service which took the stress away from me and my brother by having a brilliant Personal Estate Manager to deal with our mum's estate. We were updated regularly on the progress of each stage that had to be completed, and all our emails were responded to quickly. They give you a fixed fee quote to carry out the work so you know exactly how much it will cost, and their fees are very reasonable. They completed all the work a lot quicker than we thought by finalising the estate accounts and distributing the funds in less than a year (9 months to be exact)."

M Snell, TrustPilot Review 2019

"I have asked Kings Court Trust to progress with my very complicated estate after some misinformation from the previous solicitor firm. From the beginning, the Kings Court Trust team were very professional and explained the whole process in detail. They took the time to make sure I understood it all. The price was quoted from the beginning so I knew exactly how much I am paying - all right from the beginning. No nasty surprises with unexpected bills!"

Marek, TrustPilot Review 2019

"We used Kings Court Trust to complete the estate administration. They provided an excellent service at a very difficult time for us, and at a reasonable price. Our Personal Estate Manager kept us regularly updated and was very helpful - nothing was too much trouble. The whole thing was handled with care and understanding throughout. I would recommend them to anyone thinking of using a professional service."

TrustPilot Review 2019

How we can help

Understanding what to do when someone dies can be daunting. That's why we offer a range of services to support during the probate and estate administration process. Whether you're looking for support during the probate application phase or would prefer for a professional to take on the full process; we have the skills and expertise to help in any situation. 



Clifton Black

Need to know more?

Our dedicated team of specialists are always here to help.

0300 303 9000

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