How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
Type Your Law Question Here...
James Mather is online now

I am executor to my late partners estate, it transpired that

This answer was rated:

I am executor to my late partners estate, it transpired that he owed tax debt, as such after administration of the estate I am going to be £20,000 out of pocket due to legal fees. Should I have have been advised of anything by my solicitor when the tax debt became apparent?

Can we have background please?

Why are you out of pocket?What legal fees?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My partner died without a will I was appointed executor davit by the court,we have a son (8 years old) and I was appointed executor on our sons behalf. My partner had been estranged from his spouse for 15 years. She wanted our boat, car and all things that were acquired after separation, divorce proceedings were on going. Legal expenses relate to court proceedings relating to being appointed executor, numerous exchanges with the estranged spouses solicitor, administering the estate including tax returns to HMRC, he had not paid income tax and this was back dated 6 years. There are not enough funds in the estate to cover all the legal fees once the tax liability has been paid

So you had nothing out of the estate at all?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Nothing at all

Thank you.

you instructed the solicitor in respect of something, but the solicitor
continued to do work, apparently, even after it was apparent that there would
be no money to pay his costs after settling the debt.

solicitor is under a duty to advise you if that ever becomes the case and is
also under a duty to appraise costs every six months at least

that was the case, then I think you have a cause for complaint, which initially
you should make to the firm's Complaints Partner and if he does not play ball,
make a complaint to the Legal Complaints Service at the Solicitors Regulation

will tell you, but if the solicitor has done anything that he should not have
done, or should have done something that he had not done then the LCS will make
him deal with it.

I help further?

Please bear with me today and over weekend because I will
be online and off-line.

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not
what you wanted to hear) and I will follow up any further points you raise for

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating. It
doesn't give me "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask me for further info before rating me negatively otherwise I don't get
paid at all for my time and answer.

The thread remains open for us to continue this exchange

James Mather and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have been billed on a monthly basis usually £1200 to £1500 per month, but have been told that on top of this I have a debt of £4000, I don't know what this is for. It appears the work is done then I am billed. I have asked twice now for work not to be undertaken without my specific instructions, specifically not to respond to the other parties solicitors requests for copies of various papers as this increases my expenses dramatically. Surely I am not duty bound to provide these papers at my own expense?
If this was going to be litigated, then you are under a duty to disclose
all documentation (at your own expense) that you intend to rely on in court. If
you won in court, then you would recover those costs