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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10738
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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Is there anything in law to prevent a firm of solicitors, appointed

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Is there anything in law to prevent a firm of solicitors, appointed as executors of an estate, to prevent them communicating with the beneficiaries.
In his will my father nominated four main beneficiaries to each receive a proportion of his estate after four small cash payments are made to four other beneficiaries.
He also charged the firm with arranging his funeral.
I am the main beneficiary and have asked three simple questions. I have communicated by letter, telephone and email, all to no avail.
1) Will the firm release the funds for me to order a memorial per my fathers request? If not please advise me so may I can pay for a memorial and have the sum paid set against the estate? The amount to be paid for the memorial has been agreed and confirmed to the firm by all four main beneficiaries.
2) Will measures be taken to protect my fathers house from water damage during the winter months? (Turn off the water at the mains and drain all systems).
3) Have the firm applied for 100% of my late mothers Inheritance Allowance to be applied to my fathers estate?
I have the agreement of the four main beneficiaries regarding these questions.
Despite my fathers wish for a firm of solicitors to act in administering his estate I have become so frustated by this lack of communication I am arranging his memorial at my expense. My father passed away on the 19th September and was buried on the 6th October.
I have been attempting to obtain a response from the firm since 20th November.
This lack of communicaton despite the solicitor attending my fathers funeral, uninvited!
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.
My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.
The general position is- The Executors of a Will are under a duty to notify the beneficiaries of their entitlement and then to keep them informed as to progress.
Sadly, there is an unwritten law, known as the executors year after which legatees can apply for interest from the executors for delay in applying for probate if administration goes on for more than one year from the deceased's date of death but it is rarely used unless the sums are huge as it requires a court application. Therefore, in effect, no complaint can be made to an Executor until this 12 month period has elapsed.
Your question relates more to the specific issues you raise. As stated above, the Executors duty to the beneficiaries is to deal with the Estate and the eventual entitlements. Executors do not have to discuss/reply to beneficiaries questions concerning legal issues surrounding the Estate, so your numbered points 2 and 3 would fall into this scenario.
In respect of the memorial, this relates to an expense of the Estate and the Executors should respond to your enquiry concerning this. From a practical point of view, what normally would happen is that you send them the Invoice, once received, and the Executors will then reimburse you, once sufficient funds have been collected in. They probably will want written confirmation from the other residuary beneficiaries that they are happy for this reimbursement.
I appreciate you must feel very frustrated by the lack of acknowledgment from the Executors, but I feel their lack of response does not merit any official complaint either to their Managing Partner (who would deal with complaints) or the SRA- Solicitors Regulation Authority.
However, I hope I have assisted you and set out the legal position.
Best Wishes
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