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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Where there are two executors in a will, one legal and one

Customer Question

Where there are two executors in a will, one legal and one personal, does the personal executor have much influence in the process?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I was co-executor along with the acting solicitor in the estate of my late partner. I felt I had little influence in the process, especially when I was asked to approve their account without having access to the detail although the account was approved by the Court Officer. I was unable to approve these on that basis and the solicitor confirmed that my approval was not necessary.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
In cases like this, both the executors have equal say although obviously in cases like this the solicitor would deal with the majority of work simply because they have the knowledge to do what needs to be done.
Depending on the grant of probate you may be required to approve these or not.
However you are entitled to see chapter and verse of the accounts and if the solicitor will not let you see chapter and verse, make a formal complaint to the Solicitors firms complaints partner and if that does not resolve the issue make a formal complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They indicated that it was sufficient for the Clerk of the Court to okay their final fee figure, based on the complexity and the number of beneficiaries, etc. I have been dealing with the only two partners in the firm so no complaints partner. I stated I couldn't agree to something with which I was not familiar and they did nothing to reassure me or help me and after being pursued over a period of time I asked if it was imperative that I agree and they advised that my approval was not necessary. Most of my unfortunate dealings with them (husband and wife) have been in writing and I cannot think they would put themselves in this position. I approached the CAB who consulted the Law Society who confirmed that I was not entitled to see their fee account as the other executor was also the legal representative. I would have thought the CAB would get it right? There was additional legal work due to charity beneficiaries who make huge demands on an estate and associated legal implications. Don't lawyers have a responsibility to advise clients of this when preparing a will? Virtually every step had to be okayed with the charities. Are members of the public aware of things like this, do you think?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It is not uncommon for one executor to agree the figures.
You would only deal with the complaints partner if you have made a complaint. If you are not happy with the service that you've received, put the complaint in writing to the firm's complaints partner and if you are still not happy with the response then complain to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
As a co-executor you are entitled to see everything.
I know exactly what you are saying about charities and they really are the bane of a solicitor's life. They cause more work and more cost than is reasonable. Unfortunately the duty to advise clients does not extend to telling them that if they leave a bequest to a charity in a will, it will cause more administration.
There is no reason for every step to be okayed with charities. They simply get what they are given at the end unless there is anything contentious.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Perhaps having charities involved generates more fee for the solicitor so not always a bane? Thanks for your advice.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/

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