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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12179
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Dear all, A second Executor of the Will -solicitor- is asking

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Dear all,
A second Executor of the Will -solicitor- is asking from me -the main Executor - the following:"From what you have told me so far it seems that probate will not be required. I understand that Bronia's apartment was transferred into you and her joint names during Bronia's lifetime which means that a Grant of Probate may not be necessary. I would be grateful if you could send me a copy of the paperwork which dealt with the transfer of ownership as Bronia continued to live at the property and therefore "reserved a benefit" in the apartment." Could you please explain to me
what is Reserved Benefit and
what are the implications and
why Solicitor needs the paperwork and
what is that paperwork
Many thanks
Thank you for your question.

It means that the share of the property that was transferred to you as a gift was subject to Bronia continuing to live there. If the transfer was within 7 years of death and she was not paying you a market rent for your share then the value of that share would have to be disclosed on the estate inventory.

It would only have an implication if that value brought the total estate to a sum in excess of £325000 meaning there would be a potential inheritance tax liability. If this is not the case then it just means that the gift with reservation would simply have to be disclosed but it would have no practical effect on the estate.

I hope this helps.

Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I was joint tenants with Bronia for the last 2 months before her death this April. The flat was valued two days ago at £250,000. There is also £11,000 in the solicitor's bank account that Lloyds released to him without probate. Within the last 7 years Bronia made gifts of total of £25,000. She did not pay me rent.

1. Is the estate inventory needs to be done by solicitor in this case?

2. What is "the paperwork that dealt with the transfer of ownership" that solicitor wants? Because we just got AP1 and TR1 forms from Land Registry, filled them in ourselves following instruction from Land Registry Helpline, went to a different solicitor for filling in and checking ID forms and sent everything to Land Registry. Then I got paper from Land Registry saying it's been done. I have no other paperwork. What do you think is he talking about?

1. Yes it does.

2. The acknowledgment from the Land a Registry should be sufficient to give him the details he needs and if you have them a copy of the registration forms.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much, really helpful.

1. I was wondering, is it normal practice for a solicitor to approach the bank without me, main Executor been informed or present?

2. Can I make this inventory myself in order to minimize the hours the solicitor is going to pay himself for out of the client's account into which he got Bronia's money?



Yes, the solicitor has ostensible authority to act for the estate and for the executors in carrying out all legal steps necessary. If you are first named executor you would be asked to sign the various forms and papers required to wind up the estate but the solicitor shouldn't have to ask your permission to do the usual things involved in winding up an estate. That would lead to unacceptable delays.
I would not advise preparing the estate inventory unless you have experience in dealing with executry estates. The solicitor is worth paying for so as to get it done right and as he was appointed as executor solicitor it was clearly Bronia's intention that he should do the work.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand.

The problem was, he very actively promoted himself to be a second Executor, we were not even going to have second one. Bronia particularly was against it. When asked of two occasions, how much it will cost, he said, I quote, "Oh, it will cost nothing. Solicitors are not allowed to benefit from the Will. We are a third, non-beneficiary party". Me and Bronia, being non-native British, believed him. The translator for Bronia was present. Translator confirmed in writing what I just told you and that no prices per hour or whatsoever was discussed. Now he is telling me he is anticipating 10-15 hours work at £210 per hour.


I am not a greedy person and I like to reward people for their work. But he just lied and I feel very bad about this situation. Bronia wrote about 10 wills in her lifetime, she died at 93, and I checked in non of them the solicitor was an Executor. If she knew she had to pay him after her death, she would just get another solicitor. She was very stingy, God rest her soul. What would be your advise I should do?

The solicitor is entitled to be paid as a solicitor but not an executor. The only thing you can do is ask for a breakdown of the charges and get these checked by another solicitor if necessary.

Unfortunately solicitors are a necessary evil in a number of circumstances. However, lawyers wind up estates in the same way that doctors carry out operations as they are good at it.

If you are not happy with the service that is one thing and you can always insist on another lawyer. The important question would be, could you do the work yourself?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.


I am quite capable of doing all that is needed to be done myself, I think.

I talked to Probate office and government Tax Helpline. Based on the information I provided, they said, they do not need any paperwork from Executors.

1.So when this solicitor makes this Inventory, who he is going to send it to?

2. If he is going just to keep it in his locker, and all the information for the Inventory is provided by me, why should I pay him for that?

1. The inventory is used for probate and sent to the court and there are forms which are sent to HMRC.

2. That is not normally the case.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Excuse me, please, a little bit of misunderstanding;

Probate told me they do not expect any papers from us, and the Tax people said the same. So who will be interested in the inventory?

Has either been told of the reservation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Me - not. Solicitor - don't know. I spoke to the Probate office to which the paperwork for Probate is sent in our area. They said, as the funds been released by the bank already, they don't need anything. Tax people grilled me about the price of flat, gifts over £3000 in the last 7 years and amount left by Bronia and said that I don't need to feel any forms.


As you said, the solicitor is entitled to be paid as solicitor, not Executor. According to the Will, he is an Executor. Nobody hired him as solicitor. So how come now we have to pay him?