Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    Dajumika
    Is my probate solicitor ripping me off
    • #1
    • 12th Jul 10, 12:05 PM
    Is my probate solicitor ripping me off 12th Jul 10 at 12:05 PM
    My mother passed away 2 years ago and left a small estate consisting mainly of her property, and life insurance policies. She also held low value property abroad the transfer of which was organised with a solicitor in that particular country. The gross estate did not meet the Inheritance Tax threshold and the net amount was more than £100,000 shy of the threshold.

    She left a firm of solicitors as sole executor and to say they are obstructive in providing cost information would be an understatement.

    Their costs have totalled £12000. Does this seem excessive? I cannot fathom from where these costs have arisen. They blame filling in the IHT400 form and transfer of the UK property to the named beneficiary. Does it really cost that much to organise this? (They did also take a 1% gross estate cut).

    Any advice would be very welcome, thanks.
Page 1
    • joyfull
    • By joyfull 12th Jul 10, 2:17 PM
    • 857 Posts
    • 1,964 Thanks
    joyfull
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 10, 2:17 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 10, 2:17 PM
    I can't answer your question but would be most interested in any replies. When my stepfather died about 10 yrs ago, it took 3 years & cost £8000 in 'fees' to get everything wound up & I still wonder why it took so long & cost so much.

    Just a suggestion, would the Pensions, Annuities & Retirement planning board be more likely to provide an answer?
    Last edited by joyfull; 12-07-2010 at 10:05 PM.
    • katsclaws
    • By katsclaws 12th Jul 10, 2:38 PM
    • 337 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    katsclaws
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 10, 2:38 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 10, 2:38 PM
    The soicitor who is dealing with my late FIL's estate charges £200 an hour. If your solictor is charging a similar amount it is easy for fees to mount up. They also charge for every phone call etc. They should be providing statements of costs. I hope someone will be along soon to provide more help.
  • Morgan_Ree
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 10, 3:06 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jul 10, 3:06 PM
    Have you asked for a breakdown of their costs?
    Future Mrs Gerard Butler


    Team Wagner
    I meant Team Matt......obviously
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 12th Jul 10, 5:10 PM
    • 2,431 Posts
    • 25,164 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 10, 5:10 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jul 10, 5:10 PM
    I did the probate on my husbands estate myself. It cost £94 but obviously I did not charge myself for filling in the IHT400. The solicitor that I subsequently made my will with is arranging the transfer of property to my name. Total cost £397 - although obviously the property is in this country.
  • Dajumika
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 10, 7:25 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jul 10, 7:25 PM
    Thanks for your responses. Katsclaws, my solicitor is also £200 ph plus letters and telephone calls. But for a fairly simple estate I cannot imagine what they've spent the time doing. I'd advise that if you or your partner are also named executors that you do some of the simpler admin so as to save costs as well as checking over everything the solicitor does. My problem is my mother did not name me as executor on her will (the first draft was probably done when I was too young) so they have the legal right to refuse me any information as to how've they've gone about their business and whether it was the most efficient use of my mother's money.

    Morganrees, they did provide a breakdown of costs in terms of letters and telephone calls and once pushed, by my applying to the Senior Court, they provided a full breakdown but it's difficult for me to question the time spent/ money charged as I'm not in the profession.

    Cranky40, the property abroad is a red herring. I did all the donkey work for that and its legal position was agreed before my mother passed.

    If there's anyone out there who thinks the charges seem fair could you let me know how and why. Thank-you.
    • katsclaws
    • By katsclaws 13th Jul 10, 8:42 AM
    • 337 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    katsclaws
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 10, 8:42 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 10, 8:42 AM
    Hello Dajumika, We are in a similar position to you. My husband is the youngest of three brothers and his two brothers are the executors of my late FIL's estate. We have had very little information from the eldest brother. It might be worth doing a google search for legal forums to see if anyone else can help.
    • BethanyD
    • By BethanyD 13th Jul 10, 8:48 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    BethanyD
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 10, 8:48 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 10, 8:48 AM
    Hello Dajumika, We are in a similar position to you. My husband is the youngest of three brothers and his two brothers are the executors of my late FIL's estate. We have had very little information from the eldest brother. It might be worth doing a google search for legal forums to see if anyone else can help.
    Originally posted by katsclaws
    It is a very straightforward process but many solicitors see probate work as a license to print money.

    That's why they offer free wills - but don't be fooled - it can end up costing a fortune and many of them are not happy until they have exhausted all of the money left in the estate,

    Anyone in the family with a modicom of common sense, and trusting nature, can do it.
  • Baggysdad
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 10, 8:59 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 10, 8:59 PM
    I can't work out why an IHT400 was needed.

    From the information given it looks like the much shorter (easier and quicker to complete!) IHT205 would have sufficed - unless the foreign property was worth more than £100,000.

    You can ask for a breakdown of the costs. See here for more information
    http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/choosingandusing/payingforservices.law
  • andy6384
    probate solicitors
    I have concerns about my probate solicitor. My mother passed away 12 weeks ago. Her house is paid for, we have all the bank account info and she has a will detailing all her wishes. The only beneficiaries are me and my two brothers so it should all be straight forward. Unfortunately in her will she named the solicitors as executors so our hands were tied. We were a bit dubious about them when we first went to their office and they couldn't find our mums records! The 'junior' solicitor that dealt with us said 6-8 weeks and quoted a fee of 1500. So far it's been 11 weeks and we have not heard anything. We contact them and we get 'It's in hand', 'the solicitor dealing with it is on holiday', 'we're waiting for XXXXXX'.

    I just wonder if they're dragging their feet and bumping up the bill.
    • sassyblue
    • By sassyblue 27th Apr 11, 12:19 PM
    • 3,195 Posts
    • 8,094 Thanks
    sassyblue
    My mother passed away 2 years ago and left a small estate consisting mainly of her property, and life insurance policies. She also held low value property abroad the transfer of which was organised with a solicitor in that particular country. The gross estate did not meet the Inheritance Tax threshold and the net amount was more than £100,000 shy of the threshold.

    She left a firm of solicitors as sole executor and to say they are obstructive in providing cost information would be an understatement.

    Their costs have totalled £12000. Does this seem excessive? I cannot fathom from where these costs have arisen. They blame filling in the IHT400 form and transfer of the UK property to the named beneficiary. Does it really cost that much to organise this? (They did also take a 1% gross estate cut).

    Any advice would be very welcome, thanks.
    Originally posted by Dajumika
    I would say it's excessive. I'd want a complete breakdown of their costs with a view to a meeting to discuss everything.

    My MIL passed 11 years ago, it was a straitforward transfer of her savings to FIL (they had no mortgage or anything), payment of one store card bill in MIL's name, FIL asked when we handed everything in how much it would be and was told around £1500 and it would take 3 months. It ended up taking months longer than that (FIL was always pressing them to get on with things) and they billed us almost £1500 to the penny.

    It's worth noting that some solicitors charge more than others but l wouldn't be happy like you. It is my opinion that using peoples ignorance of all this 'filing', sorting out estates are a licence to print money.
    Last edited by sassyblue; 27-04-2011 at 12:54 PM.
    Always overpaying on mortgage.

    Happy moneysaving all.


    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 27th Apr 11, 12:22 PM
    • 22,894 Posts
    • 47,566 Thanks
    VfM4meplse
    It is a very straightforward process but many solicitors see probate work as a license to print money.

    That's why they offer free wills - but don't be fooled - it can end up costing a fortune and many of them are not happy until they have exhausted all of the money left in the estate,

    Anyone in the family with a modicom of common sense, and trusting nature, can do it.
    Originally posted by BethanyD
    Your post is spot on. Which? Money had an excellent article on this a few months ago, the worst legacy you can leave IMO is appointing a solicitor as an executor.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,641Posts Today

8,959Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin