We spoke with Linda Fisher, Will and Estate Planning Manager, and Sarah Corp, Senior Will Writer to find out about how Will Management Services works in partnership with Kings Court Trust. Will Management Services runs alongside Invest Southwest and provides a fully holistic and personal service to fit every client’s needs.
In this interview, we find out how Kings Court Trust’s estate administration service helps their clients during their lifetime and beyond. After reading the interview, we’re sure that you’ll agree that Will Management Services has a very admirable approach to their clients’ journeys. You may even find some advice that you can apply to your own business.
How did you start working with Kings Court Trust?
The main reason we sought someone to help us advise our clients about estate administration was because we found that we were writing a client’s Will and then they were just walking out. It didn't sit right with us, ethically, that we weren't offering an estate administration service. Then, we came across Kings Court Trust and they fulfil the need we identified perfectly.
Over the last two to three years, the relationship has really grown. The client still stays ours because we don't send them to a Solicitor down the street. Kings Court Trust is just an extension of us and in fact, when we recommend that our clients consider instructing Kings Court Trust, we say you can contact them directly or you can come to us. It’s whatever they feel most comfortable with. Most people do a mixture of both because they don't see us as two separate businesses, they see Kings Court Trust’s estate administration service as an extension of what we do.
Can you tell us about your typical client journey from first touch to death and beyond?
For us, our client is our client for life and beyond. From the minute they pick up the phone or walk through the door, they are our client. If they need financial advice, help in writing or updating a Will, or any other guidance, we will provide the advice that they need or we know where to signpost them to. Even when our client dies, it’s still our job to ensure we get it right for the family because that’s the most important thing.
For example, I’ve had a phone call this morning saying “Mum died yesterday, what do I do?”. I’ve told them that they don’t do anything, come to see me and I’ll talk you through the Will and we’ll sort it out from there. That’s why families use us, because we help and support them throughout their lifetime and even after they are deceased when their children become our clients.
Additionally, by offering a paid service for secure Will storage, we are giving our clients the opportunity to come back at any time. They are aware that there is always a door open for them and by charging for this service, they don’t feel like they’ve got to wait and they can get in touch at any time. It’s a strong selling point as people know that their family will know where to go when the time comes. They feel reassured that they will get the help they need to deal with the estate administration.
In some of our Wills, Kings Court Trust will be professionally drafted as Executor alongside a family member. However, in just as many cases, they are not so. That’s when we’ll talk the family through the process and explain how Kings Court Trust’s estate administration service can help.
Can you tell us more about how your storage fees work? And how you bring Kings Court Trust into the conversation when you're Will writing?
We are confident about bringing Kings Court Trust into the conversation when we’re talking to our clients during the Will writing process. We’ll talk them through Kings Court Trust’s service and give them the option to appoint them as professional Executor, typically alongside a family member. If they don’t appoint Kings Court Trust, that’s fine because we make them aware that at the time of death their relatives can come back to us and we will give them all the information they need and lead them in the right direction. By storing our clients’ Wills, we keep that point of contact.
When someone dies, I know I need to sit down with the family and talk them through the Will and next steps. They appreciate that someone is going to meet with them and explain what needs to be done. Families need to know that someone is there that can help them and take the legal responsibility away. We’re just facilitating pointing our clients in the right direction of where they can get help. We’re here to help them make the right decision.
How do you maintain relationships with your clients throughout the estate administration process?
Every three to four months, when Kings Court Trust is dealing with the case for our client, I will ring the Executor to see if they’re happy and ask if there is anything they need from me. That is usually beyond my client’s expectations because they're not expecting me to call to ask if everything is OK.
We receive estate updates from the Personal Estate Manager so we know exactly what progress is being made in each case. This means I can confidently call my client as I’m well informed. Even though Kings Court Trust is doing the work, I maintain a relationship with the family and they know that we’ve gone the extra mile. That means that they’ll automatically think of us when they need to create or update a Will, or want any other advice.
What would you say to someone who is looking to work with Kings Court Trust?
The most important thing is understanding what Kings Court Trust does. If it's the first time you're going to get involved with estate administration and you don't know what that means, you’ll struggle to explain the services of Kings Court Trust to your clients. You must understand the process, be aware of the length of time it's going to take, and know to tell your clients to get lots of death certificates.
I’d advise people to spend time with Kings Court Trust or speak to a Personal Estate Manager and have a conversation with them. You must know the process as that’s the only way you can confidently advise your clients. If I can manage my clients’ expectations right from the start, then I know there's not going to be any trouble.
How has Kings Court Trust’s service helped you reach your goals – financial, cultural, or even personal goals?
For the business, the additional income from referral fees is great, as well as the continuity for the client. That client may then have inherited a substantial amount of money and need financial advice about what to do with their inheritance so they can talk to our Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs). It’s a win-win situation as there are no losers. It’s ethically right for our clients and they like knowing that the whole family can continue to rely on our support. It’s all about the client journey. All of our advice is free so clients only ever pay for our services. We take the time to explain what they need to understand and we advise instead of sell. It’s a never-ending circle because the clients and families trust you, so it keeps generating more business. That’s what keeps us busy!
On a personal level, our knowledge about estate administration has grown so much. We feel confident in explaining the process to clients.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Linda and Sarah.
We hope you’ve found reading our interview with Will Management Services beneficial to understanding how your business could work in partnership with Kings Court Trust, as well as providing some valuable advice on improving your clients’ experience and journey.
If you’re not already aware, Kings Court Trust is an award-winning estate administration provider that has helped thousands of families receive their inheritance. We develop mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses in order to help families. We want us both to achieve our goals by providing a range of services that support your clients and help you to grow your business. If you'd like to find out more or have your questions answered, please call 0333 207 5470 or click here to get in touch.