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 Buachaill Your Own Question

Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10175
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
53108719
Type Your Law Question Here...
Buachaill is online now

My uncle diesd intestate aged 93 years. My 12 cousins and I

Customer Question

My uncle diesd intestate aged 93 years. My 12 cousins and I are my uncles nearest relatives. Upon the recommendation of a close friend of my uncle we employed a legal firm to gather together my Uncle's assets, use those to pay any debts (funeral expenses, legal costs etc) and proceed to administration of the estate. After 6 months the legal firm we asked to administer the estate has said that the friend of my uncle's who recommended that firm to us has made a claim on the estate and as that firm wishes to act for my uncle's friend they have a 'conflict of interest'.They have advised us to employ another lawyer to advise us. The initial firm will not release the documents they hold that relate to my uncle's estate to another legal firm until we pay their invoice and will not deduct their fee from the estate assets. My cousins and I are reluctant to pay this invoice.
A) Can we just do nothing and walk away with no liability?
B) At this stage what do you advise us to do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. I would advise you to do two things here. Firstly, you get another solicitor to act in relation to the estate. You get this second solicitor to give what is known as a solicitor's undertaking to the first solicitor that their reasonable costs will be paid upon completion of the administration of the estate. Once a solicitor's undertaking to pay the first firm's costs are given the solicitors are bound to release the documents. This enables the second firm to carry out probate and administer the estate. So you can ensure administration of your uncle's estate continues with the minimum of interruption.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

2. The second thing you do here is you get the second firm of solicitors to sue the first firm of solicitors for breach of fiduciary duty. A firm of solicitors owes a fiduciary duty to their client (your uncles's estate) not to act in circumstances where their duty to the estate conflicts with a duty owed to another client, such as the friend of your uncles. Accordingly, the first firm can be sued for breaching this fiduciary duty they owed to your father's estate. They took on the job of representing the estate whilst also helping the friend make a claim on the estate. For this, they are liable to the estate in damages. The minimum that can happen here is it will reduce the solicitor's bill. Additionally, you may find that the "friend's" claim might diminish in extent or never happen. However, the solicitors here, rode two horses at the same time. So you should make them pay for them. Ensure the new solicitor is happy to sue the old firm before you give them the work to administer the estate.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice