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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12087
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am a professional Heir Hunter running an LTD business here

Customer Question

I am a professional Heir Hunter running an LTD business here in England.On 30th April I was approached by a Michelle Wild.
She explained that she had been estranged from her biological father for most of her life and had only met him and started to get to know him over the last 2 months.
Unfortunately he died after only 8 weeks of meeting her, he did however state to her that she was included in his Will.
Upon his death the remaining family pushed my client out of all arrangements and refused to give her any details regarding the alledged Will.
Wild requested I carry out enquiries in order to trace a valid Will for her father and that I obtain a copy of said Will as well as managing any claim she may have against the Will. She also requested a copy birth certificate.I drew up a client agreement on 1st May 2015 which was signed by Wild.The agreement confirms the services the client requested and fees as per below: -£110.00 for the services rendered.
30% of the share from teh estate of my client's father as received by my client..On 14th May - Wild stated she no longer wanted a copy birth certificate. She also stated she felt 30% was a steep price to payI offered to re-write the agreement we had in place which would remove the service of obtaining her birth certificate and offered a reduction in commission down to 20% rather than 30%.Wild agreed and a second agrrement was sent out.Said agreement was signed by Wild on 19 May 2015.Bearing in mind most of the requested services had already been carried out at this stage the agreement was laid out as per below:"I MICHELLE WILD of "CENSORED" hereby agree to accept the charges for the services stated below as provided by Stephen John Piercy.I accept that such services have been rendered by Stephen John Piercy to my satisfaction.1. Submission of search enquiries for the Will of Malcolm Wild bn "Censored"
2. Initial approach to the executor of the estate of Malcolm Wild
3. Initiating contact between Executor and client.CHARGES1. Fixed sum of £100.00 payable within 14 working days of the date of client's signature below.
2. 20% of the share from the esate of Malcolm Wild as to be received by Michelle Wild"Since 19 May 2015 up until last week, Wild made no indication of being unhappy with the agreement and was still requesting for updates and for me to make further contact with the executor etc.However, she has now ceased contact following a message from her stating she didn't feel my work warranted teh amount I was charging and that she would be seeking legal advice.Although the exact amount of the estate is unknown, the grant of probate has since been issued and indicates the value to be no more than £38,000. Of which my client is to receive 50% (£19,000) . There will of course be some estate costs and so it is expected to be slightly less.Based on the agreement above this would mean my fees would be in the region of £3900.00.As I do not have the exact value as my client does not know it and the executor will not disclose it I feel I cant submit a claim to small claims court which usually requires a "specific value" to be claimed for.
Of course once the executor distributes the estate (should be by end of february) an exact amount would be known by both them and Wild however, both are unwilling to communicate with myself.What is the best approach to take.I have copies of both agreements made as well as full paper trail of messenger communication (hundreds of messages).Kind RegardsStephen Piercy
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your question. My approach would be to allow for estimated costs, say £5000, calculate and render your fee on that basis and sue for that amount if you need to. The defence would have to challenge the amount by lodging the exact figures at which stage you can amend the amount you sue for.