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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10974
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My aunt has recently passed away and has made me, my sister

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My aunt has recently passed away and has made me, my sister and Ward Solicitors executors on her will. Wards were made executors 6 months ago when my 87 year old aunts wanted to change her will due to ill health. They are now trying to take full control of all financial and legal matters without discussing their fee prior to this, I have refused this and asked for an estimate fee before they start which they have stated would be their usual fees plus a percentage of the total value of the estate. My sister and I are happy to sort the finances and the estate out for nothing. Can they dictate to us what they do and what we do? I have previous experience of being an executor and have said ill write the letters, cancel accounts and sort finances, which they have said they will also be doing this and charging a fee so I will be wasting my time. Can they approach a terminally ill 87 year old woman without a family member being present and persuade her to make them executors on the will? I would appreciate your feedback on this as its added stress at a hard time.
1. The first thing you need to be aware of is that you can apply for Wards solicitors to be removed as executors so long as you get one of the executors to make the application with you. So don't think you are easy meat for Wards solicitors to charge as much as they want. Additionally, you should keep any correspondence in which Wards solicitors say they will duplicate work you have done and charge the estate anyway. This is unlawful conduct which justifies their removal as executors. Executors are supposed to act for the benefit of all beneficiaries and part of this duty is to minimise fee charging. So, insist upon being given an account of their fees before they become excessive. Be aware that you can also refer their fees to Administrative Review should they be too high. This is a court process whereby the fees charged by Wards solicitors get assessed to test their reasonableness and so they are not excessive. So here, don't think you are at the mercy of Wards, solicitors. They seem to have the unwarranted idea that they can charge what they want. This is not the case.2. Please RATE the answer as unless you RATE the Answer your Expert receives none of the monies you have paid the website so there is no incentive to answer any further questions.
3. The other point to be made if the matter is litigated is that your aunt was a vulnerable person who was taken advantage of when she appointed Wards executors. Whilst you can make this point, it is difficult to revisit their appointment without questioning the validity of the will.
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