A long shot, but legal advice sought

Page 1 of 2  
Okay, way off topic but it IS going to be d-i-y, even if it kills me. A friend has been quoted the usual solicitor's fees of 150 an hour (and no we couldn't possibly say how many hours it'll take etc etc) to do the following: A will states that there must be 2 trustees before the executor can execute. One has died and so another (her son) has to be appointed by the surviving trustee. I gather this involves a deed of appointment, so does anyone know what this form is called? These legal forms seem to have a CON prefix (ironic eh?). Now I know that messing with the occult is dangerous, so please don't warn me about the dangers, or suggest that solicitors fees represent good value. I'm just not in the mood for it at the moment :-) However, if anyone has any experience of this, or can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 13:15:13 -0000, "stuart noble"

We have just been going through this issue with respect to my late MIL.
I completely agree with you that solicitors are licensed bandits in regard to the whole process of dealing with the affairs of a deceased person, followed swiftly by the Inland Revenue.
It sounds from what you are describing, that part or all of the estate is being handled via a form of trust. You would need to find out which type of trust it is because there are several types used in the management of inheritance tax. There should be a separate trust document somewhere, referenced by the will.
You could try contacting the Inland Revenue, since at least they don't charge for information. They become intimately involved in the process anyway as part of the granting of probate. In any case, any IHT on liquid assets has to be paid before probate is granted and they have a procedure for getting funds released from the deceased's estate to do that if tax is due.
You could also try talking to an accountant. Generally they are knowledgable on trusts and although they charge, as long as you don't use a large firm will not charge anything like the figure you mention.
Care does need to be taken with trusts because getting things wrong in terms of the structure can have severe tax implications. Otherwise, for the most part, the processes are tedious and drawn out rather than difficult. You do have to use a notary at certain stages for the trustees and benificiaries to declare who they are. However, this is a 10 at a solicitor. The worst part about it all is having an array of insensitive bureaucrats involved and laying bare the private affairs of the deceased, just when the relatives are least able to deal with it.
.andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think the "trustees" bit only applies to the will itself. The executor is one, the other one died, so we're short of trustees to the tune of one, that's all. Certainly there is nothing trustish in the IHT area. Straight down the 40% sink for most of it

The probate dept suggested applying normally and they would decide in what areas the will was deficient, and presumably advise how to put things right. I've handled a couple of probates which, despite the grave warnings from legal eagles, were about as easy as falling off a log.

I think the worst bit is solicitors making straightforward things complicated. 20 years ago they draft a will that follows the intestacy rules to the letter (and is therefore pointless), only they insert a clause specifying 2 trustees. 10 years on, the 2nd trustee dies and, despite handling the probate, they neglect to appoint a 2nd trustee. So for the last 10 years of your life you have a will that says you must have 2 trustees, and you only have one. I wouldn't be surprised if probate took the view that if the deceased wasn't bothered about it nor should they be. What this episode suggests to me is that you're better dying intestate with all your real money tied up in pictures, coins, stamps, anything without a paper trail.......
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 16:55:44 -0000, "stuart noble"

OK, then it sounds like you are simply one executor short. It seems to be customary to have the deceased's solicitor as an executor, but it doesn't have to be that way. I am sure that when wills are drafted, the solicitor does that automatically. I suppose that there is some sense in having a non-beneficiary as one of the executors in order to ensure fair play, but this is an expensive way to do it.
If there is only one beneficiary then this is simplified.

It's also worth reading carefully through some of their IHT information for the timings on when tax is due on different aspects of the estate, as well as what is deductable before IHT.

We've found the Inland Revenue reasonably helpful, but it is clear that they are also out to make sure that the tax gets paid. Inevitably statements and other documents relating to savings etc. will turn up for some time, but as long as the main amounts of IHT that are payable on liquid assets and in due course sale of property, they are quite reasonable albeit very slow.

Exactly, or by the use of suitable legal investment vehicles .andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Absolutely do NOT allow this to happen.
My mother thought she would keep everything in order, and avoid family strife, by appointing a reputable firm of solicitors to provide executors, so the firm would still be there even if something went wrong with a named executor.
The firm changed hands, and the new subcontinental owners stole an awful lot of the assets, and let the house deteriorate for 18 months - if I hadn't drained water etc it could have fallen down.
It was also used as an address by illegal immigrants, who used it to get utility bills.
The whole thing was neglect and thievery (including wedding rings, etc that they were supposed to value) and I was not allowed to complain as I was not a residuary beneficiary.
Other pillars of the legal establishment said she was a silly old woman to entrust her affairs in this way, and she should have known better; but solicitors don't have health warnings on their offices.
Never, ever ever trust one. You have to use them, but watch them every moment.
They should be used for scientific tests - there's some things a rat won't do.
mike r
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 19:18:24 +0000 (UTC), mike ring

I concur with these comments.
Both my parents died in quick succession early last year. Neither left a will. I immediately contacted a solicitor local to them for advice, primarily because when Dad died it left Mum all alone in a nursing home, and Dad had asked me to make sure that Mum was okay if anything ever happened to him (I'd been responsible for Mum being placed in a home when Dad could no longer cope thanks to his own illness).
Within a short time the solicitor had approached the probate office and had my sister and I assigned as administrators for the estate. The solicitor was then formally engaged to look after the legal angle.
Nearly 2 years later the solicitor has refused (for nearly 5 months now) to answer letters, emails or telephone requests. I have delivered multiple letters by recorded delivery so there's no way he can excuse himself for not having received them. He's just gone quiet and won't answer reasonable questions - like "what is the current state of the finances on the estate?".
The solicitor wrote to me/my sister over 6 months ago to advise that his office had been broken into and all his records had been trashed. There'a s flashing red beacon on this situation for me as a result.
The affair is now in the hands of the Law Society because as an administrator (or executor) of an estate I have powers to report the solicitor if he is refusing to do his duty, and they can investigate. I imagine that if the Law Society find the solicitor isn't providing the level of professional service he's expected to then they will hit him hard. I'm awaiting that process completing (can take several months).
Meanwhile my sister (the other administrator) has left the country and refused to give out her new address. The stupid bitch has acted moronically from the outset, refusing to carry out the requests made by the solicitor, stealing goods from my late fathers home, etc. That may well have something to do with the solicitors attitude - however in my book he should have stamped his authority on the arrangement early on and if she wasn't cooperating she should have been carpeted via the probate office - they have the authority of the high court so can't be ignored.
Thanks entirely to the actions of my sister our family has fallen out big time even though a solicitor was engaged. That's because my sister wanted to be in sole control of everything and found my presence annoying to her own devious plans. She even went so far as to tell the solicitor that my father had told her that I wasn't to be part of his legacy, which I don't believe for one minute. I have some awful family members in close proximity.
PoP
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm really sorry to hear of youe experiences, too, pop, but don't expect the Law Society to help.
While they were still talking to me before they found out I wasn't a residuary beneficiary, they were not convinced that the solicitors perfomance was on the face of it, all that bad!
The fight passed to the grandchildren, busy young parents who came in to the thing a year later, after thinking it was down to me, so were not up on things anyhow.
Unfortunately lawyers all seem to be self selected and highly trained scum, perhaps thats why so many go into parliament, the one I used to settle my bit of the estate I'd used before and was pretty straight, but not so straight he would break into a sweat for a client at 125 quid an hour.
All the others I've come across were out and out villains, the Law Society is not interested in changing that
Best wishes with your problems
mike r
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I fully concur, never, ever think that these people are there to represent you or will do their best by you. They are there to extract money from you, and, unlike most jobs, whether they come up trumps or screw up big time they still get your money. As far as possible DYOR and bone up on the subject - get independent advice ( the net is useful in this respect ), so you can ask pertinent questions and quiz them about progress. I lost far more money by going to a solicitor when my Mum was plunged into financial trouble than I ever would have by just putting my hand deep in my pocket in the first place. The law is equally useless; it is not a system for dispensing natural justice, it is a system for producing a result that satisfies itself. The only person in this world that really represents you is....you. Sorry, rant over...
Andy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

to see this one through.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I think, at present, those positions may be reversed. :((
--
Bob Mannix
(anti-spam is as easy as 1-2-3 - not)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You are more likely to get a reply if you post to the uk.legal NG. Whatever you may think of solicitors or their charges make damn sure you do the job correctly because if you don't you could well end up with a much larger bill later on to sort the mess out. It is well worth shopping around.
Peter Crosland snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Peter Crosland wrote in message ...

wants to justify it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Far from it. Just someone who saw an estate diminished by several hundred pounds, eventually recouped, because someone like you thought they would save 75.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 13:15:13 -0000, "stuart noble"

That is circular, if that clause about two trustees is binding then the surviving person named as an executor has no power to appoint anyone.
Do not DIY that one bit, at least get legal advice on who may administer the estate and whether they may do it alone.
Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Anthony R. Gold wrote in message ...

the will. Presumably they can always give the next of kin letters of administration instead. I can't believe a deceased executor is any more unusual than a deceased beneficiary, and there's a system in place to deal with that
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

solicitor who doesn't seem to charge 'too' much and having used him for a number of years has always been pretty fair. (I know many will wonder if he is actually a solicitor if that is the case!).
You might want to give him a try if all else fails. He is Philip Crowe, based in York (but that shouldn't matter) and his number is 01904 691000.
Also, many of the charities rely so heavily on donations made in wills that they have their own solicitors who may be able to give advice, perhaps if you offered them a fixed amount for their help.
HTH Rob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kalico wrote in message ...

IR are the only people you have to satisfy and, as both of them seem to be pretty helpful, I'll take my chances dealing with them direct.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've been through a similar experience too. Your post isn't totally clear about the detail, but you need to be clear about the definitions of executor and trustee - they're very different in law and reality.
The executors are the administrators and will execute the will, deal with probate oversee distribution etc. They're usually named in the will, and there are usually at least two so that if something happens to one, the other one can take it all on. It is common, but not necessary for one of the executors to be a professional (ie a solicitor). The administration is the bit that you can do yourself if you want to take on the work, and deal with the IR forms etc, you're confident that the Will is likely to be uncontested.
Trusteeship is totally different. The first point is that if you need to appoint a new trustee then it requires more than a form - you will need a Deed of Appointment, and while this may approach a standard document, IME it would need to be pepared by a solicitor. As someone else said there are different types of trust and also different reasons for introducing them. It's an extremely specialist area, and if the will passes the estate into a trust then you need to have a good idea on why its happening - if you're not careful you can unravel all kinds of problems associated with mutual benefit between spouses, inheritance tax, long term care etc etc... That doesn't mean that a solicitor needs to be a trustee, but IMHO if there are significant amounts of money involved, unless you're absolutely clear what's happening and why, at least seek some advice.
I'll preface this by saying that I'm not a solicitor and have no professional interest in the way the law operates, but my last point is about your dealings with solicitors. They are there to work for you, and most of them do that satisfactorily - in my experience dealings with lawyers are no better or worse than dealings with other professions (builders... estate agents... accountants?!), the problem is that most of the work where their expertise is important isn't always visible. Believe it or not, most reputable solicitors do take their dealings with clients seriously, and that includes issuing a letter of engagement that outlines the scope of the work, the fees they charge, and most importantly, an estimate of the cost of the work specified. You should always receive an LoE - the requirements are laid out in the Law Society's "Practice Rule 15", which is incorporated in the the Law Soc's Guide to Professional Conduct (available on the web, and the reason I know about thsi rule is because I've used it!). My final point is that like everything else you get what you pay for... you obviously need to be happy with your representatitive, and that may or not mean the cheapest is the best.
Anyhow, whatever you decide to do, I hope it works out, and I hope I don't get flamed!
John

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Kent wrote in message ...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I do wish people wouldn't roll out this old aphorism all the time. Nowadays especially it's even more untrue than it used to be. Goods are no longer priced by their value (i.e. according to the raw materials plus cost of labour), they are priced by market forces. So you most definitely do *not*, as a general rule, get what you pay for.
In particular, for this group, I'm very unconvinced that 'premium' or 'professional' tools are really worth the extra one pays for them in comparison to 'diy' tools.
As regards solicitors, hmmm, I'm not sure! :-)
--
Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.