Kings Court Trust plan for hat-trick at the British Wills and Probate Awards

Today’s Wills & Probate speaks to 2019 and 2020 Probate Provider of the Year (Large) winners about what they have been up to since the 2020 virtual ceremony and plans on going for a hat-trick of titles.

As a long-standing supporter, how has your involvement in The British Wills & Probate Awards positively impacted Kings Court Trust?

The British Wills & Probate Awards are widely recognised within the industry and the award-winning title helps to build additional trust with both prospective customers and partners. It adds further credibility about our outstanding services, customer experience and drive for continuous improvement. We feel that it works in a similar way to testimonials and case studies by building confidence with potential customers and partners. We are incredibly proud to be recognised for all the hard work, service and care our team and business partners provider to our customers and hope to retain the title in 2021!

What have you been doing since the Awards in October 2020?

When we won the award in 2020, the judges decided we were the worthy winners by saying “A strong submission with continuous improvement and customer service at its heart”. That is exactly what we’ve been doing since the awards in October. We’ve been focusing on even more improvements to your service and customer experience and we are currently in the transition period to a brand-new IT system. The new system will allow us to be even more efficient, further improve customer experience and introduce more automated processes.

Additionally, we have focused on providing support to our partners during these challenging times due to the pandemic. We relaunched our financial support scheme for partners at the beginning of the year, which offered an early payment on fee-share to help with cash flow. We recognised that many of our partners were struggling with cash flow due the lockdown and reduction of work post-Christmas, so we decided to temporarily reintroduce the support scheme. It was well received, and we were glad we could help in some way during these difficult times.

We have also ramped up our educational resources for partners, such as webinars, blogs and newsletters. Our Marketing team have been working hard to ensure we support industry professionals to brush up on their probate and estate administration knowledge, especially as some industry professionals have more time on their hands to focus on CPD.

Another one of the successes of the last few months has been the launch and growth of a networking and best practice group for Will writing practitioners.

The group, started by Kings Court Trust’s Business Development Manager, Chris Whittington, was launched in May 2020 and now meets monthly with sessions regularly receiving 50+ registrants.

Discussing the launch of the group, Chris Whittington explains:

“It became evident during the early days of the pandemic that the opportunity for me to maintain the channels of communication for my partners was going to diminish. There was also the added impact of industry professionals not being able to obtain foresight and knowledge of the potential valuable services that could be game-changing for them and their business. During my 6 years at Kings Court Trust, I’ve been fortunate to work with people that have had long-established careers within estate planning, along with those fresh into the industry, and the one constant between them was that there was an appetite to learn. If you work for an organisation then you have the opportunity to speak to your peers whenever you want help, but if you work on your own it’s often harder to get the answers you are looking for. On that basis, I decided to create a monthly Best Practice group where individuals could attend the webinar and learn from each other and industry experts or service providers.

Having monthly support from David Opie from Today’s Wills and Probate and Martin Holdsworth and his knowledgeable team at IDR Law added extra credibility to the group. Their help has been invaluable ever since and the numbers have increased month on month. Some of the topics we have covered include LinkedIn, Marketing ideas and solutions, email/cybersecurity, letter of wishes, contentious probate issues and popular topics from the previous month.

“Although the group started for my contacts in the North of England & Scotland, I’m pleased to say that based on the appetite and opportunity to learn there is now a group to service individuals in the South and South West. Anyone is welcome regardless of any affiliation with Kings Court Trust. If you would like to learn more and discover when the next meeting is taking place near you, then feel free to get in touch with me at [email protected]. Thanks to those that have attended to date and contributed to a worthwhile cause and monthly event.”

The best practice group has received great feedback from those that have attended or presented.

Dennis Gardener of Saltire Wills said:

“The agenda is looking great and you are certainly pushing the boundaries. Keep up the great work!”

John Dwyer from Clear Skye Media said:

“As a company that provides a service to estate planning practitioners, we were recently invited to present at a KCT Best Practice Webinar. This provided us with an invaluable opportunity to network and already has helped generate new inquiries. It is great to find a group that is focused on one sector, which therefore can focus specifically on that industry’s best practices.”

Plans for 2021 BWAPA entry and a hat trick of titles

We certainly will be trying to retain our title and go for the hat-trick this year. We plan to follow a similar theme to our previous entries and focus specifically on the award criteria. Although, we will leave it there as we don’t want to reveal all our secrets!

This article was submitted to be published by Kings Court Trust as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

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