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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9680
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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We have a matter of probate and have been left a house and

Customer Question

Hi we have a matter of probate and have been left a house and some money, It has now been since february 2015 and it has been a catalogue of errors or excuses, the most recent was when the property was to be transferred, documents were signed etc and sent to the land authority around august/September, we heard nothing for months, then in January after repeated phone calls and then threatening to get someone to deal else to take over we were contacted and told a charge had been found when transferred on the 27th oct last year by the local council, after further prompting in June we were told "no problem" that the charge had been removed and the land authority had been informed and that everything would now be sorted but the secretary was busy so it would take 1-2 weeks to get it done, still nothing, can you please advise as we have been made responsible for council tax and have already had to ask the solicitor in June to pay last years at £500 from the estate which she has and we now are receiving final demands for this years yet we cannot afford it and the solicitor has been told.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

Hello - this solicitor has still to complete the probate is this correct? can you give me a background please - who died and who was it left too?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
our auntie and left to my partner erica williams
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
auntiy's name , May ***** *****
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the probate has still to be completed but the solicitor told us over the phone that she has had everything ready for some time , all the accounts have now been done, all bills paid, a partial refund from the energy supplier etc and just waiting for her secretary to type up the documents or whatever , this was in June
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
hello, we just need to know where we stand, we cannot afford to pay any more on here, we only get 30 minutes?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
hello ?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
are you still there?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am certainly not going to pay extra again for a phone call when I am not getting a response now, are you there? is anybody here, am I to receive a reply before my half hour is up
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
hello !!
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I've now asked for a refund and hope this is not just a scam as you have been very irritating or is it because I am complaining about a solicitors methods being unreasonably slow, so called professionals, it's disgusting !! you could have at least replied.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

I apologise for the delay in keeping you waiting but it isn’t a chat service. It’s an email exchange. Sometimes you may get an answer in minutes. Sometimes it may be longer particularly if we have clients and other users and travelling.

The offer of a telephone call comes out automatically, you don’t have to take it up. It is optional.

You need to raise a formal complaint with the firm’s Complaints Partner. In the Client Care/Terms of Business letter which you were given when you first instructed the solicitors or when they first started dealing with probate, it will tell you the name of that person. If you can’t find that letter, the receptionist will give it to you.

Put your complaint in writing specifying exactly what is happened. If they haven’t replied within 10 days then make a formal complaint to the Legal Ombudsman.

Don’t think for one moment that the Legal Ombudsman is another lawyer who will look at this “jobs for the boys”. Quite the opposite. They have the wherewithal to come down on the solicitors like a ton of bricks.

If the delay has genuinely been because the solicitor has been dilatory, then you should be asking for compensation in the form of interest on the amount of money that you would have had from the property either in the event of a sale or rental and to my mind, also potentially the council tax depending on what you intended to do with the property.

F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
ok thank you for that it's just I needed to be somewhere else shortly, when we have been trying to contact them it has been that she is off work for "work related" problems but did threaten to go elsewhere then as usual told it would be sorted soon, we hasd a interested party in the property who asked our price, she took four months getting back to him and they said they were no longer interested. she was having the property emptied which never happened a man went and took boxes we had packed and stored them but also some large antiques that did have woodworm but he was a furniture restorer, he said he burnt them on a bonfire on the 5th of december, he left al the othe furniture in the house saying the man at the skip company had gone to jail, it's just been a nightmare all along
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I will leave a good rating