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  • FIRST POST
    • ABARKIE
    • By ABARKIE 14th Jun 17, 5:57 PM
    • 162Posts
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    ABARKIE
    Solicitor refusing to give a copy of a will
    • #1
    • 14th Jun 17, 5:57 PM
    Solicitor refusing to give a copy of a will 14th Jun 17 at 5:57 PM
    Hi

    My partner's father passed away on Monday evening.

    He had paid for a funeral plan.

    He had also prepared a will, of which we have an unsigned draft copy - naming myself, my partner and her brother as trustees.

    The solicitor is refusing to let us have a signed copy until they have sight of the death certificate and meet all three of us.

    Can they do this?

    What is the protocol / correct procedure?

    On the draft will, I could not see an Executor being named, however, both my partner's parents indicated they would wish for me to perform this role.

    Any advice welcome

    Thanks
Page 1
    • London50
    • By London50 14th Jun 17, 6:18 PM
    • 1,495 Posts
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    London50
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:18 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:18 PM
    As far as I know that is correct, once the death is registered you can get copies of it for the claims {banks ect} and as the solicitor will need proof before handing anything over the sooner the death is registered the sooner you can move things on.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 14th Jun 17, 6:18 PM
    • 2,469 Posts
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    gettingtheresometime
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:18 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:18 PM
    In fairness (whilst it would be a really weird thing to do) they may think you're chancing your luck & trying to find out information without the person actually being dead (if that makes sense!)

    At the moment you have an invalid will so I assume need the proper copy.

    They may, however, be wanting to see you in order to 'suggest' that they administer the estate .
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - the Argos Card!
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Jun 17, 6:23 PM
    • 27,810 Posts
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    Mojisola
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:23 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:23 PM
    My partner's father passed away on Monday evening.

    He had also prepared a will, of which we have an unsigned draft copy - naming myself, my partner and her brother as trustees.

    The solicitor is refusing to let us have a signed copy until they have sight of the death certificate and meet all three of us.
    Originally posted by ABARKIE
    Until you have proof that he has died, he is the solicitor's customer.

    Would you want your solicitor to hand over your will to someone who just turned up at the office?

    I assume you mean that the three of you are executors? The solicitor will want to hand over the will to the three of you in case one of you starts being a pain and tries to cut the other executors out of things. (It does happen!)
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 14th Jun 17, 6:24 PM
    • 2,625 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:24 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:24 PM
    Hi

    My partner's father passed away on Monday evening.

    He had paid for a funeral plan.

    He had also prepared a will, of which we have an unsigned draft copy - naming myself, my partner and her brother as trustees.

    The solicitor is refusing to let us have a signed copy until they have sight of the death certificate and meet all three of us.

    Can they do this?

    What is the protocol / correct procedure?

    On the draft will, I could not see an Executor being named, however, both my partner's parents indicated they would wish for me to perform this role.

    Any advice welcome

    Thanks
    Originally posted by ABARKIE
    They are being quite correct. Until they see the death certificate they would be breaching client confidentiality.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 14-06-2017 at 7:32 PM.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 14th Jun 17, 6:58 PM
    • 7,303 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:58 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 17, 6:58 PM
    What Mojisola and Yorkshireman99 said.

    I would add that in similar circumstances following the no-obligation chat with the solicitor (who will be hoping to offer his firm's executry services if you want to take advantage of them) the solicitor got £400 work from me and saved me many times that in IHT.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • securityguy
    • By securityguy 14th Jun 17, 8:53 PM
    • 2,363 Posts
    • 3,612 Thanks
    securityguy
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 17, 8:53 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 17, 8:53 PM
    "The solicitor is refusing to let us have a signed copy until they have sight of the death certificate"

    Quite right too. What do you think is wrong about this?
    • ABARKIE
    • By ABARKIE 14th Jun 17, 9:23 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    ABARKIE
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 17, 9:23 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Jun 17, 9:23 PM
    Until you have proof that he has died, he is the solicitor's customer.
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    We have evidence of death, they do not appear to have given his wife her will either and the wording of the will appears to be incorrect, in my opinion.

    By this, I mean that on the father's will, it refers to his husband and on his wife's it refers to her wife

    I am also aware they used a voucher incentive to attract customers, but the vouchers never came


    Would you want your solicitor to hand over your will to someone who just turned up at the office?
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Understand that but my concerns are over the draft will and the voucher scheme are raising red flags for me

    I assume you mean that the three of you are executors? The solicitor will want to hand over the will to the three of you in case one of you starts being a pain and tries to cut the other executors out of things. (It does happen!)
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    On the draft will, no executors are named - I wonder is this deliberate by them to "offer" their services!
    • ABARKIE
    • By ABARKIE 14th Jun 17, 9:27 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    ABARKIE
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 17, 9:27 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Jun 17, 9:27 PM
    As far as I know that is correct, once the death is registered you can get copies of it for the claims {banks ect} and as the solicitor will need proof before handing anything over the sooner the death is registered the sooner you can move things on.
    Originally posted by London50
    We are unable to register the death for a week, due to GP not signing off the certificate

    I had the receptionist of the GP laughing at me when I queried that he had been seen once in 6 weeks - and the certificate needs signing off by someone who had seen him regularly, but he was bed ridden from Friday and in the latter stages of bladder cancer and the GP didn't even turn up last weekend when we rang to advise that his breathing had become laboured - but a different story for another day
    • ABARKIE
    • By ABARKIE 14th Jun 17, 9:30 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    ABARKIE
    In fairness (whilst it would be a really weird thing to do) they may think you're chancing your luck & trying to find out information without the person actually being dead (if that makes sense!)

    At the moment you have an invalid will so I assume need the proper copy.

    They may, however, be wanting to see you in order to 'suggest' that they administer the estate .
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    Understand those concerns, but what worries me is that his wife, my partner's mother has the same issue - ie a draft unsigned will

    I have my sister's will and brother in law's and no issue with them

    They may, however, be wanting to see you in order to 'suggest' that they administer the estate .
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    That's my concern and why do they want to see all 3 of us - coming across as ambulance chasers for me.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 14th Jun 17, 9:32 PM
    • 27,810 Posts
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    Mojisola
    We have evidence of death

    But not a death certificate which the solicitor would need to see.

    they do not appear to have given his wife her will either

    That's a different situation. If she asks for her will, there is no reason why it shouldn't be handed over.

    and the wording of the will appears to be incorrect, in my opinion.

    By this, I mean that on the father's will, it refers to his husband and on his wife's it refers to her wife

    That's very sloppy but also suggests that the couple didn't read the wills carefully before signing them.

    I am also aware they used a voucher incentive to attract customers, but the vouchers never came

    Did they ask for them when the vouchers didn't come?

    On the draft will, no executors are named - I wonder is this deliberate by them to "offer" their services!
    Originally posted by ABARKIE
    I can't imagine any reputable solicitor writing a will without naming executors! Who is going to apply for probate?
    • ABARKIE
    • By ABARKIE 14th Jun 17, 9:33 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    ABARKIE
    "The solicitor is refusing to let us have a signed copy until they have sight of the death certificate"

    Quite right too. What do you think is wrong about this?
    Originally posted by securityguy
    Why have they not given their client a copy of the signed will - that is my concern

    But happy to cash the cheque in advance of getting the will signed - just drafted

    We now have the death certificate from the GP, but unable to register the death until next week
    • ABARKIE
    • By ABARKIE 14th Jun 17, 9:34 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    ABARKIE
    I can't imagine any reputable solicitor writing a will without naming executors! Who is going to apply for probate?
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    That will be down to me - I guess

    That is what both parents asked me to do
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 14th Jun 17, 9:48 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    If you are not named as executor you can't just take on the job. Seeing the original is crucial.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 14th Jun 17, 9:51 PM
    • 2,625 Posts
    • 2,067 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Understand those concerns, but what worries me is that his wife, my partner's mother has the same issue - ie a draft unsigned will

    I have my sister's will and brother in law's and no issue with them



    That's my concern and why do they want to see all 3 of us - coming across as ambulance chasers for me.
    Originally posted by ABARKIE
    That is not a reasonable inference. The solicitor must, as previously stated, have to follow the rules. They need to see all three executors not just one.
    • ABARKIE
    • By ABARKIE 14th Jun 17, 9:53 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    ABARKIE
    What Mojisola and Yorkshireman99 said.

    I would add that in similar circumstances following the no-obligation chat with the solicitor (who will be hoping to offer his firm's executry services if you want to take advantage of them) the solicitor got £400 work from me and saved me many times that in IHT.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    The value of his assets will be less than £200K

    The joint house is worth circa £170K, in total and only other assets we believe to be the joint bank account and a car worth less than £3K
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 14th Jun 17, 10:40 PM
    • 2,469 Posts
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    gettingtheresometime
    To be fair I really don't see the problem.

    You turn up with a death certificate, they see it & then give you the valid will.

    I have an unsigned copy of my will - I know though that the valid will is with the bank so I don't think you should worry about that aspect.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - the Argos Card!
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 14th Jun 17, 10:42 PM
    • 2,625 Posts
    • 2,067 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Why have they not given their client a copy of the signed will - that is my concern

    But happy to cash the cheque in advance of getting the will signed - just drafted

    We now have the death certificate from the GP, but unable to register the death until next week
    Originally posted by ABARKIE
    You don't know if your father had a copy. I have never had a signed copy of the will when I have made one, just a copy printed off from the word processor.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 15th Jun 17, 1:38 AM
    • 37,486 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    They need to see all three executors not just one.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    There's been this discussion before in a slightly different context: the solicitor holding the will required all the named executors to attend the office to collect it when that was completely impractical - I don't remember if that was because of distance, infirmity or unwillingness to act.

    I said then that when each of my parents died, my co-executor was able to go into the solicitors and pick up the original signed will without me being there. I cannot remember if I wrote something agreeing to him doing this.

    But while there might be reasons for the solicitor to ask for all executors to be present, until the OP has seen the final version of the will they do not know who the executors are, because they are not named in the draft!
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    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 15th Jun 17, 3:19 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    It should not be beyond the wit of man, or even a solicitor, to overcome such a practical problem. The solicitor needs to be sure that all the executors are genuine and that one is not trying to pull a fast one. The solicitor is not being obstructive as the OP seems to think but just safeguarding everyone's interests. Frustrating but necessary.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 15-06-2017 at 8:19 AM.
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