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  • FIRST POST
    • MattWright
    • By MattWright 10th Jan 18, 10:17 AM
    • 3Posts
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    MattWright
    Complex Estate / Need Some Advice / Tips
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:17 AM
    Complex Estate / Need Some Advice / Tips 10th Jan 18 at 10:17 AM
    Hello, Iíve joined up purely to post here. My fianc!ís father has unexpectedly passed away. A great man and an enormous loss to us all.

    He has two children (my fianc! and her brother). Both of whom are very close (thankfully). He is divorced (twenty years ago) and is close with his ex wife and so; thereís to be no dispute, or issues that I can foresee, except; perhaps for an ex partner who helped in his business for a handful of years. More on that later.

    A will has been found with his solicitor - made back in 2004 stating his two children are to receive everything. The executor is a lawyer at said firm and he is still with them. So far so good.

    However the first alarm bell is that the Solicitors are stating that they are unable to give a cost for their services due to the large estate. I understand this but pressed them for a figure. Theyíve said anywhere between 15k up to 22k plus VAT. And this is with us (the family) doing all of the heavy lifting - i.e: valuations, estate assets listing with liabilities, etc. There should be little to no investigative work for them to do. So I find their charges a bit much.

    Theyíve said that they charge hourly and not on % of estate.

    The estate includes 14 properties and 12 vehicles with a few other more obscure assets. And so I understand itís not an average estate. Value might be £5,000,000 but with liabilities, it could go down to more like 2,700,000.

    The ONLY unknown is that an ex partner (as mentioned) might come out of the woodwork to make a claim; despite having been taken care of; morally sheís no right but when has that stopped people before

    And so, my questions are:

    1: with the size of the estate and variables therein; we are best to use a solicitor / specialist for probate, etc?

    2: can the two beneficiaries (my fianc! and her brother) change the executor? Can they not demand to be the executors themselves?

    3: if they cannot change the executor; should they stay with the law firm that the executor works for? For ease of refinement?

    4: if we are going to do all of the heavy work; can we get quotes from / use other Solicitors; even if the executor is at this other firm?

    5: do the costs Iíve stated above seem about right, given all Iíve said?

    Thank you for any and all help.
Page 2
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 10th Jan 18, 2:37 PM
    • 962 Posts
    • 594 Thanks
    Tom99
    Why would solicitors administer an estate and not charge for it? They are not charging for their own personal time, they are charging for their billable hours to do the job. Very different from lay executors. There is no legislation that prevents solicitors from charging for their work as executor or on anything else to do with probate.
    Originally posted by Jenniefour
    I am not saying the professional executor should not charge, but just asking under what authority they are allowed to charge whilst another executor is not.

    It's often referred to, but under what legislation is a lay executor not allowed to charge for their time?
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 10th Jan 18, 2:47 PM
    • 4,311 Posts
    • 4,686 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    I am not saying the professional executor should not charge, but just asking under what authority they are allowed to charge whilst another executor is not.

    It's often referred to, but under what legislation is a lay executor not allowed to charge for their time?
    Originally posted by Tom99
    I refer the gentleman to my previous reply.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 10th Jan 18, 3:57 PM
    • 31,147 Posts
    • 18,667 Thanks
    getmore4less
    I am not saying the professional executor should not charge, but just asking under what authority they are allowed to charge whilst another executor is not.

    It's often referred to, but under what legislation is a lay executor not allowed to charge for their time?
    Originally posted by Tom99
    Have you read any of the legislation the deals with administration of estates?
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 10th Jan 18, 4:03 PM
    • 962 Posts
    • 594 Thanks
    Tom99
    Have you read any of the legislation the deals with administration of estates?
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Do you have a link to the part about executors charging?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 10th Jan 18, 4:56 PM
    • 3,515 Posts
    • 2,871 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Do you have a link to the part about executors charging?
    Originally posted by Tom99
    You need to understand that only a qualified solicitor with a current practicing certificate can charge for legal services such as administrating an estate. For anyone else to do so is an offence.
    • chesky
    • By chesky 10th Jan 18, 11:56 PM
    • 923 Posts
    • 1,386 Thanks
    chesky
    Apart from the role of the executor, you seem to have a concern regarding the ex partner. You might consider raising this issue with the solicitor at your meeting and get their reaction on the possibility of a claim. Unless the ex was financially dependent on your fianc!’s father, it is highly unlikely such a claim would be successful, but it might be useful to hear the solicitor’s reaction.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 11th Jan 18, 4:02 AM
    • 962 Posts
    • 594 Thanks
    Tom99
    Having looked further into my question about what authority a solicitor executor needs in order to charge for their services, I think it is covered by the Trustee Act 2000.

    A solicitor executor would only be able to charge if there is a charging clause in the will or if there is more than one executor and all the other executors agree to the solicitor charging a fee.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/29/contents
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 11th Jan 18, 6:57 AM
    • 3,515 Posts
    • 2,871 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    This act covers far more than executors.In any case no solicitor is going to act as executor unless their fees are paid. Also note post #25.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 11th Jan 18, 8:10 AM
    • 962 Posts
    • 594 Thanks
    Tom99
    This act covers far more than executors.In any case no solicitor is going to act as executor unless their fees are paid. Also note post #25.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Yes I agree and therefore if they are named as unwanted executors in a will which does not have a charge clause it should be far easier to get them to stand aside.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 11th Jan 18, 8:25 AM
    • 4,311 Posts
    • 4,686 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    Yes I agree and therefore if they are named as unwanted executors in a will which does not have a charge clause it should be far easier to get them to stand aside.
    Originally posted by Tom99
    How can they be named as unwanted executors? If I name an executor it is because I want them to do the job, The solicitor has been appointed by the testator and is acting for his estate not the beneficiaries who have no contract with the solicitor.

    They can certainly ask for them to step aside but they have no obligation to do so. If at the end it is thought the charges excessive then the beneficiaries can make an official complaint, but there is not much else they can do at the moment.
    • Tom99
    • By Tom99 11th Jan 18, 8:34 AM
    • 962 Posts
    • 594 Thanks
    Tom99
    How can they be named as unwanted executors? If I name an executor it is because I want them to do the job, The solicitor has been appointed by the testator and is acting for his estate not the beneficiaries who have no contract with the solicitor.

    They can certainly ask for them to step aside but they have no obligation to do so. If at the end it is thought the charges excessive then the beneficiaries can make an official complaint, but there is not much else they can do at the moment.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    They are usually unwanted by the other executors or beneficiaries as in the OP's case. You can name your solicitor as your executor but, unless you include a charge clause in your will, the solicitor will not be able to charge a fee to administer your estate.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 11th Jan 18, 9:21 AM
    • 4,311 Posts
    • 4,686 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    They are usually unwanted by the other executors or beneficiaries as in the OP's case. You can name your solicitor as your executor but, unless you include a charge clause in your will, the solicitor will not be able to charge a fee to administer your estate.
    Originally posted by Tom99
    You are correct about the charging rule, but no solicitor drafting a will which named them as an executor, would exclude such a clause.

    The OP has not mentioned any other executor other than the solisitor.
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