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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Do I have the right to demand that my lawyer sends me a copy

Resolved Question:

Do I have the right to demand that my lawyer sends me a copy of the statement of the trust fund account opened by the lawyer at a bank where monies were deposited from the funds of my Mother's estate, or do I have the right as Executor to ask the bank directly for the statement of the trust fund account. Also, as my half brother and I are joint equal beneficiaries and Excutors should the costs of the lawyer's charges, disbursements and incidentals be shared equally between us.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask who the trustees of the trust you refer to are please?

Customer:

Myself and my brother are the Executors and beneficiaries of our Mother's Will. Our lawyer acted handle the Probate of the estate and he was suppose to open a client trust account at a bank in the name of my deceased Mother to receive and pay out funds.

Joshua :

Thanks - so this isn't a specific separate trust fund your mother set up in her will but rather an account containing your mothers estate funds?

Customer:

In this case there are no trustees.

Customer:

That is correct...

Customer:

which the lawyer set up to contain funds from Mothers Estate post her demise.

Joshua :

thank you. In that case, on the basis that you and your brother are executors of the estate, either of you separately altogether have the right to a copy of the account ledger. If the account has been opened in your names at the bank, then it is possible for you to contact the bank directly but normally, when estate funds are held by a solicitor, the solicitor will open a client account ledger using his solicitors account with the bank. Assuming this is what is being done here, you would not be able to obtain information from the bank directly but would need to go through the solicitor or his firm to do so.

Joshua :

In other event, the solicitor must give you information regarding the estate account upon demand. If he is refusing to do so or simply not communicating, if there is another partner in the firm, you can complain to that partner. firms are required to designate the complaints partner to handle complaints from clients. If you make a complaint, they are required to deal with it in accordance with a complaints procedure, a copy of which they must provide to you.

Customer:

Have I the right then to expect the solicitor to show me details of that account..

Joshua :

Ultimately, if you remain dissatisfied, I cannot believe the firm would allow the matter to escalate this far as there is no defence available to them, you can escalate your complaint to the legal ombudsman service which can make orders which are binding upon the solicitor and award compensation if they find it appropriate to do so

Customer:

What I mean is I want an actual bank statement showing details..

Joshua :

but yes in respect of your initial question, you have the absolute right based upon what you say to receive a full statement of the account and indeed any other information you require regarding the estate

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Joshua :

Do you mean as opposed to an account provided by the solicitor?

Joshua :

ie. a client account ledger provided by his accounting software?

Customer:

There was another question contained in my original request to you.....the solicitors charges.....disbursements and incidentals...is it right that those costs have to be share equally between my brother and I...

Customer:

No I am asking for an actual bank statement of the funds in that account from the solicitor...the solicitor does not have accounting software..

Joshua :

as regards ***** ***** right to an actual bank statement as opposed to a statement provided by the solicitor, this depends upon whether your solicitor has opened a dedicated separate account for the estate funds. Generally what will happen is a solicitor will maintain what is called the client account with his bank. This is an account in which he will deposit any money see hold in behalf of his client. In the client account will be monies from many different clients all pooled together. tthe solicitor is required to maintain detailed accounting records for each client identifying precisely how much each client holds on account and each transaction carried out on behalf of a client. If that is what has been done here, you will not have a right to see bank statements from the solicitor's client account because this will include money from potentially many different clients. Rather, you have a right to see your client account ledger which he has to maintain by law.

Joshua :

If however he has opened a dedicated bank account separate to his general client account for estate funds, which is possible, then you can require sight of that bank account statement.

Joshua :

Remember though whichever is the case, if you believe any of the figures are incorrect, you can check your mother's bank statements to ensure the correct balances were claimed and if there was a property, you can check that the correct amount of proceeds of sale have been credited to the estate account and someone. As an executor, you can obtain your mother's bank records and someone directly to compare against the solicitor's account if you have any concerns about it

Customer:

Thank you for your answer re client account...can you answer my other question..

Customer:

re sharing costs...

Joshua :

Certainly. With regards ***** ***** query about charges, any charges by the solicitor including any disbursements incurred should be charged to the estate rather than either you or your brother individually. these charges will be deducted from the estate and therefore effectively will be borne by each of your brother and you equally.

Joshua :

either you or your brother are able to question any charges or disbursements the solicitor has charged and where you do so, the solicitor must reasonably justify any such charges or disbursements to you. Again, if you are unsatisfied with any explanations, you can make a complaint and ultimately refer the complaint to the legal ombudsman service as described above

Joshua :

http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/helping-the-public/#making-complaint

Joshua :

Has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?

Customer:

Joshua thank you so much for your excellent service and I will rate you accordingly. I certainly will use your service for any other matters and recommend to others. Again thank you. Kind Regards Joseph.

Joshua :

A pleasure. I'm glad I was able to be of assistance. If I can ever help in the future, please do not hesitate to get in touch

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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