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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33323
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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MY SIS AND BROTHER SAYS WE HAVE TO PAY THEIR SOLICITORS COSTS

Customer Question

MY SIS AND BROTHER SAYS WE HAVE TO PAY THEIR SOLICITORS COSTS £650 + vat
for delaying payment of their Estate money; our Fathers house was only sold in Dec 23
then we applied for probate- and finally had to write to third parties abroad aswell
who were beneficiaries on my father's will- on top of that they are claiming since it has taken over a year- Dad died in March 13 they want 3%interest - which is ridiculous!!
They also want a inventory list of all possessions of my Dads- even though again they did
not want anything; so we took it to the charity shop
Lastly they are claiming they want a say in the Headstone - and cost ; which have not decided anyway.
Also our Solicitor gave them a guideline saying end of May - closure of Estate
but as since of the beneficiaries was on his death bed we could not peruse details of I.D.
and Bank A/C details as it was not appropriate - but they are only interested in the
money and not peoples feelings.
They also removed from our Dads's house a large plant worth over £100 - and tools from the shed costing £45.00 - but they are denying all this and were at a loss

Finally as my husband had to clear our Dad's property, shed garden garage - with no help from them - can he out in a claim for this time spend.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.Were you named as Executors in your late father's Will?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes myself and husband executors on our fathers will

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We are both Executors on our Dad's will


Also my husband has lost so much money being self employed


try to clear the house himself- and I suffer from M E chronic fatigue


that is takes me a while to sort things out- and also trying to look after my Mother who had two falls- and other health issues


 


Also we only applied from probate when the house was sold - so bascially


it has only been since November till now- and my Dad had approx 10 accounts to close down - as I deal with his affairs so the Solicitors took a long time to sort matters- and because my siblings have been given me grief - stress makes M E worse - so we asked Solicitors to handle


matters - but they have been slow as well


Also is they a time limit when someone dies - to sort the Estate out within a year - and then charge us interest for not sorting out in time?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

sorry not getting reply - is the a block

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
There is indeed an "Executors year" within which matters should at least be started - but given the number of accounts you have done nothing wrong - and You are not charged interest - the Estate is.
If there are any extra legal costs because of the issues raised by your siblings then they are a cost TO THE ESTATE - not to your share - so you may wish to point out to then that in fact they are simply decreasing the amount available to them
You do NOT have to pay their solicitors costs
You do not have to provide an inventory of possessions - nor to produce a receipt - although a letter from the Charity Shop would be useful
You are the Executors so you decide on the headstone - although you can consult with them if you wish
You can claim for any out of pocket expenses incurred - which could include lost earnings if your husband has evidence of how much he lost
Please do not let your siblings bully you
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What the letter states is their Solicitors has raised the question of his own costs in respect of the instruction to him from my siblings . He has put it in writing to me his clients(my siblings) will be looking to you - meaning us the Executors personally make good their legal fees and he invites me to agree.in principle, that we the Executors will pay personally his reasonable charges.


Obviously for the moment I do not know what those charges will be - but in the telephone conversation he did indicate that we were looking in the region of £600 plus VAT and disbursements.


Their Solicitor has also indicated that the only reason that his clients felt compelled to consult with him independently was because he and they take the view that there was little if any consultation with your siblings as your co Residuary Beneficiaries about the Estate generally


 


Our Solicitor has stated to us - that if she was unsuccessful in challenging this, then we - the Executors would be personally liable not only for his costs - but also for my own costs in defending this matter, which as I am sure you will appreciate will become quite substantial over a period of time


 


With regards ***** ***** Father's Headstone they say they are not wiling to pay - unless we are willing to consult with them!!! WHICH WE INTENDED TO ANYWAY


 


ALSO DO WE NEED TO PAY INTEREST- LOSS OF INTEREST IF THE


AGAIN THEIR SOLICITOR is stating that as the legacies were not paid within a year of the date of death then you will - us the Executors will be responsible for the additional interest due on those legacies for the period from the year after date of death to date of final payment of o.3%


 


IS THEY SUCH CLAUSE THAT WE MUST PAY WITHIN A YEAR- AND SHOULD OUR SOLICITORS ADVISED US ABOUT THIS?


 


ALSO BEING SELF EMPLOYED - HOW MUCH CAN MY HUSBAND CLAIM FOR - AS SIBLINGS DID NOT OFFER TO HELP CLEAR THE HOUSE- AND 1 WK DURING THE FUNERAL AND I WK AFTER - TWO WEEKS OF IN TOTAL - WITH NO PAY . SHOULD HE NOT


CLAIM FOR THIS OR CLEARING THE HOUSE WHICH TOOK HIM WEEKS, THE GARDEN MAINTENANCE AND TAKING STUFF TO THE TO CHARITY SHOPS


 


Also want a list of Chattels and copy of inventory of where everything went- and my siblings were not invited to attend the house to chose any chattel as a keepsake a memento


Reason being they had access to the house - spare keys and took stuff before we my Father passed away- as he was in a home


even took my tools and plants from the garden


Also want A list of chattels what charities and value of chattels


 


Just goes on - ...... unnecessary wasting Solicitors time- as they stated they did not want anything to keep anyway


 


My father had very old furniture of not real value- and that is why it went to charity shops- no one would buy this old furniture

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
This is nonsense
You were the Executors of the Estate - there is no requirement to consult with the Residuary Beneficiaries at all
It is your decision whether or not the Estate pays for a Head stone - no one else's
You are NOT liable for any interest at all as they were Residuary beneficiaries. Interest is only payable on specific cash gifts
You do not have to provide a list of where items went.
You were entitled to dispose of them as you wished - so unless they can prove that they had real value then there is no claim
Unless you have paid in a fraudulent way you are NOT responsible for any legal costs
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am still concerned about their Legal costs- unfortunately my son was


living at our Father's house temp - as Father passed away- and


our Solicitor informed the third parties of this- but my sons' sale dragged on till Oct - and we finally sold Father;s house in Dec 13 -


But none of my siblings protested then- and we only recvd probate in Nov 13 - as we were try to help our son by delaying probate -as Father died in March 13- So should my son be equally responsible for our cost's


also my uncle in Poland was nearly dying and we had to delay further


and still waiting for another third party in Poland


Should our solicitors told us about the 12 month deadline


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
There is no "deadline" as such.
If a beneficiary has been given a specific sum un a Will - say £10,000 - then if that is not paid after 12 months then they are entitled to interest FROM THE ESTATE. This does not apply to Residual monies.
However the new information that you have given does change the case.
You are now saying that you deliberately delayed the probate and the sale for the benefit of your son
This means that you acted in a way that deliberately placed your interests (your son) above those of the beneficiaries - which COULD leave you personally liable.
HOWEVER having said that you did obtain Probate within the first 12 months and indeed the sale was completed in that time.
Indeed there is potentially a chance that you got a better price because of the delay
IF the correspondance from the solicitors acting for your siblings started BEFORE the Grant of Probate then yes it would be reasonable for you to OFFER to pay their costs.
If it started after Probate was granted then there is no need to do so.
Clare

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