Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Please accept my condolences for your loss. May I ask if you are named as an executor of your mothers will please?
No - my wife is.
Thank you. It is unlikely the solicitor you refer to would have been the individual who advised your parents on the apropriateness of the mortgage directly - unless that is he is both a solicitor and a regulated financial advisor.
Mortgages of this kind require independent financial advice to be given though the rules were somewhat more relaxed in 2002 than they are now.
In which case I suspect that they took no advice...is there some recourse with Scottish Widows?
The solicitor may have suggested the proposal to your parents but normally this would be restricted to suggesting they take advice from a financial advisor he may recommend and then taking the referral back from the financial advisor if and when they took out the financial product in question because a solicitor must act for the mortgage lender in securing the mortgage against the property and attending to signing of legal papers.
However your wife as exedcutor has authority uinder the Administration of Estates Act to make enquiries of the solicitor as if she were your mother (in other words she has the right to all the information your mother would have if she were making the enquiries herself). Accordingly your wife can ask for details from the solicitor and/or Scottish Widows of the advice received by your parents and an explanation as to why this product was recommended over alternatives you are aware existed at the time.
If you believe that a product which was not suitable was recommended by a Scottish Widows to your parents then you may have the basis for a complaint of financial misselling against Scottish Widows. Again your wife can pursue such a complain on behalf of your mothers estate under the provisions of the Administration of Estates Act.
That makes sense. Thanks.
The first step if you believe this to be the case is to complain to Scottish Widows directly. If your work is not satisfied with the response, the complaint can be referred to the financial ombudsman service charge have the power to review the matter and if they find there was financial mis-selling, may award compensation to the estate.
Any compensation awarded, would form part of your mother's estate and would need to be shared amongst the beneficiaries in the same proportions as defined in her will
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
No that's fine, thanks.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
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Can I print out your reponse?
You should be able to copy and paste the text into a document to print out your end. Alternatively I can ask customer services to email you a copy of the above thread if that would be more convenient?