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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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1. Should estate monies held by solicitor handling the

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1. Should estate monies held by solicitor handling the estate be placed in interest bearing client account?
2. Is there a statute of limitation on looking for beneficiaries?
3. The administrators have put their expenses in to the solicitors but they do not have receipts for many of them. Are the solicitors only obliged to pay the expenses which can be backed up with documentary evidence?

1. To answer your questions as you asked them. Firstly, whilst executors should place monies in a deposit account which might earn interest, nowadays, as most short term deposit accounts don't earn much interest, an executor won't be penalised merely because the monies on deposit don't earn interest. So long as the executor (not the solicitor) keeps the monies safe and earns whatever little bit of interest is possible, that is all that will be expected.

2. There is no Statute of Limitations for looking for beneficiaries.

3. It is the administrators, not the solicitor, who decides what expenses will be paid. Accordingly, once the Administrators decide that the expenses should be paid, the solicitor has no role in preventing them claiming them. Here, it does not matter that the expenses are not backed up by documentary evidence. Once the administrators can lawfully claim them, then they may be claimed.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thx for yr response. Re question 3, it is the expenses problem that is stopping this estate from being distributed. The solicitor has received the expenses claims from the 2 administrators but says they cannot pay them without back up but you are saying this isn't the case? The 2 administrators hv claimed €13000 and €10500 respectively so you're saying that the solicitor must pay these amounts regardless of any documentary evidence?
Many thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also re interest, this isn't a small estate, the solicitors hv bn sitting in €480,000 since circa 2011/12, I work for a solicitor in London and I'm sure if we didn't place this in an interest bearing client account it would not go down well with the client!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It just seems a bit odd that the administrators can decide what their expenses are and not have to back this up with any proof of what those expenses were - if this is the case, couldn't they just think of a figure, double it and then claim it? The 2 administrators were not close next of kin, one is a distant cousin and the other a friend of the deceased's mother. Considering it has taken them over 10 years to get to the stage we are now at maybe they deserve the expenses they've claimed. I would appreciate yr clarification/confirmation before I respond to the solicitors.
Kind rgds

5. Here the administrators mistake the nature of being an administrator. It is an unpaid voluntary office. Here, the claims made by the administrators far exceed what can be called "expenses". Accordingly, these "expenses" do not fall within what the administrators can lawfully claim as I indicated in my earlier response. So, the solicitor is correct in calling a halt to what they claim. The matter can be entered in court by a beneficiary or by the solicitor under a constructive summons seeking the court's direction as to what is a lawfully valid expense. This will deal with the matter.

6. Yes, interest is paid to the estate from the solicitor's client account. As I indicated earlier, whatever interest is earned by the solicitor on deposit must be paid to the estate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Think we had a misunderstanding regarding the administrators. As I sed they were not the next of kin as reqd by law, the solicitors seem to hv made little effort when the death occurred in 2006 to find next of kin, it seems from what one told us that they virtually forced the two people they decided shd be the administrators to accept the role. Consequently this has bn a botched job with no one thinking to put an ad in Irish papers until 2013 which is how we were found. But it has still taken until now to even get draft accounts. It seems they agree now that they can pay out our share shortly so things are looking better. I'm still tempted to report them to the law society in Dublin as I think they have bn incompetent all the way through this as have been the administrators. Rant over! But if u want to give a brief view on this it wud be most welcome! Anyway thank you for your assistance.
Jean McCarthy

7. Dear Jean, You can make a complaint about the conduct of the solicitors but that is a bit like biting the hand that feeds you, as these were the people who found you and the reason you are benefitting from the estate. I would hold off on complaining about the solicitors until they deal with the administrators. Additionally, it definitely seems that the administrators mistake the nature of the their office. As they were "compelled" to act, they seem to regard it as a salary paying job! It would have been better if you had been the administrators yourself, or else someone you trusted.

8. Be aware that if you are unhappy with any of the issues arising in the Administration of the Estate, you can put down a constructive Summons and have Court issue Directions as to what should happen and what should be the appropriate fees taken by either the administrators and the solicitors.

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