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deed of variation?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
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  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    FreeBear wrote: »
    I would just instruct your solicitor not to reply to any further letters and to ignore any communication that does not comply with ACTAPS guidance - I would also point out to him that the window of opportunity has now closed for any inheritance act claim so there is no point in entering in to communication until such time as court papers are served.

    Once your solicitor has received this instruction in writing, you can then inform him that any time logged in replying will be at his own expense. That should focus his attention ;)

    Thanks FreeBear,

    They are draining me, financially, physically & mentally. I made a big point about that window - now well closed - and they were blase, they just said 'oh yes, but we weren't really thinking that anything along those lines would come up', carefully neglecting to tell me what they were or are thinking. I still don't know, and I still don't know what the opposing solicitor is up to: with no case to forward I guess he is just marking time. If he knows that popping a letter in the post is going to elicit a costly response on my behalf, it's in his interest to go on forever - and it is not in the business interest of my solicitor to do anything but keep the parcel passing between them. I've now put it in writing that this elegant response to the other side is to cease until there is something definite to look at - like a court order. I will follow that up with your suggestion.

    Many thanks again :)
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    Message sent and critical response received, but the message seems to have got through. Thus far I have made all the running for two separate sets of solicitors supposed to be on my side, they appear quite content to tread water with carte blanche access in respect to my finances. All this is doing I feel is amusing the opposing side and encouraging them in the full knowledge of how expensive solicitors' correspondence is.

    Thanks for the help I receive at this site :A
  • orwen wrote: »
    Message sent and critical response received, but the message seems to have got through. Thus far I have made all the running for two separate sets of solicitors supposed to be on my side, they appear quite content to tread water with carte blanche access in respect to my finances. All this is doing I feel is amusing the opposing side and encouraging them in the full knowledge of how expensive solicitors' correspondence is.

    Thanks for the help I receive at this site :A
    Don't let them bully you! Make it very clear you expect your solicitor to get off their backside and progress matters.
  • edited 19 February 2016 at 2:30AM
    orwenorwen Forumite
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    edited 19 February 2016 at 2:30AM
    Don't let them bully you! Make it very clear you expect your solicitor to get off their backside and progress matters.

    Thanks. They seemed perplexed - if not unamused - that a client would tell them not to engage in incidental correspondence - for which I am paying - with the opposing solicitor. They then asked me if I would like them to bill the opposing side for expenses? Was that an attempt to evade the issue of the pointless, costly letters which have been exchanged? I said no, because is it seriously in my interest to open another Pandora's Box of solicitors' letters when the current dispute has been resolved? And it has not been resolved yet. The solicitor seems to be writing their own brief here.

    They then said that they agreed with me that exchanging pointless letters with still no formal claim in sight was a waste of time and expense. So why did I have to go through 2 days of intricate email writing to elicit this response from them? They are a professional solicitor, it should have been they telling me this, not their client telling them what is so glaringly obvious! I will also add that they only sprang into action when I suggested not paying for irrelevant correspondence - they then invoked the agreement I signed with them 6 months ago. That agreement also says I can dispense with them if they lose my confidence. The agreement additionally says something like they will 'endeavour to bring the dispute to a speedy conclusion' and six months have elapsed and we are still at the starting block, with the opposing solicitor playing ducks & drakes in terms of vague threats.

    It is all far from satisfactory. If I get another email from them telling me the opposing solicitor sneezed 5 days ago, so they thought they'd better log it, scan it as an attachment and send a 2 page email to me to explain it ... I will go bananas :mad:
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    Hi,

    At the time of the initial letter of dispute (claim never formalised) from the opposing solicitor six months ago, the deeds to my only home were being processed. I had been summoned in to sign form AS1 which I did. This form was then to be forwarded onto the Land Registry for the formal transferral of deeds into my name. Due to the letter of dispute the solicitor then sat on AS1, without informing me. I thought the deeds were being processed. I discovered subsequently that the solicitor sat on AS1 for 6 months when I politely asked what was happening to my deeds please?

    I then asked this solicitor to forward AS1 to my current solicitor, to get the ball rolling again. But the last I heard from the current solicitor is that they had forwarded AS1 on to their 'conveyancer ' to look at. AS1 is ready to go, why don't they follow process and send it up to the Land Registry? Can I insist they do this or in failing, insist they give me a formal explanation in writing as to why this documentation is not being sent to the Land Registry?

    I can see that a formal dispute could have a bearing on many things in law, but a casual dispute without substance - despite being handed to a solicitor - is surely not grounds for disrupting the processing of legal paperwork? Six months have now elapsed and there is still no sight of a formal claim, yet I am left in limbo with regard to my deeds. Is this acceptable?

    Thank you.
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    orwen wrote: »
    But the last I heard from the current solicitor is that they had forwarded AS1 on to their 'conveyancer ' to look at. AS1 is ready to go, why don't they follow process and send it up to the Land Registry? Can I insist they do this or in failing, insist they give me a formal explanation in writing as to why this documentation is not being sent to the Land Registry?

    The AS1 is a simple form and shouldn't need to be passed to a 'conveyancer' - I completed one myself (along with a compulsory FR1) and have handed everything over to the local LR office a few days ago. Their opinion was "everything looks to be in order, and there doesn't appear to be any mistakes".

    By the sounds of it, these solicitors are finding ways to run up your final bill :eek: I would certainly be challenging any "conveyancing fees" if they appear on the final invoice.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
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    FreeBear wrote: »
    The AS1 is a simple form and shouldn't need to be passed to a 'conveyancer' - I completed one myself (along with a compulsory FR1) and have handed everything over to the local LR office a few days ago. Their opinion was "everything looks to be in order, and there doesn't appear to be any mistakes".

    By the sounds of it, these solicitors are finding ways to run up your final bill :eek: I would certainly be challenging any "conveyancing fees" if they appear on the final invoice.

    Thanks FreeBear,

    It confirms my 'suspicious mind' unfortunately. I phoned the original solicitor who witnessed my AS1 signature who is (almost predictably) "out of the office" today. I need to phone back on Monday just to confirm this form is as valid as when I signed it six months ago. I can't see that it won't be, nothing has changed.

    The current solicitor almost suggested on the phone that the AS1 needed to be rewritten - hence their sending it on to a conveyancer. I need to question their action if the AS1 is valid - witnessed by a solicitor, bearing my signature - and (sadly have to) formally instruct them to send that form on to the Land Registry, or send me in writing a formal reason for not doing so.

    Solicitors are about as popular with me currently as are politicians :-|
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
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    It is worth having a read of this doc = https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/whole-of-registered-title-assent-as1/guidance-completing-forms-as1-and-ap1

    The only section that needs filling in with specific words is box 12 - It matters not which solicitor or conveyancer puts pen to paper, the words remain the same, and if someone else needs to "check the form", I'd be asking questions about the experience & qualifications of the individual that completed the form.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
    197 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    FreeBear wrote: »
    It is worth having a read of this doc = https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/whole-of-registered-title-assent-as1/guidance-completing-forms-as1-and-ap1

    The only section that needs filling in with specific words is box 12 - It matters not which solicitor or conveyancer puts pen to paper, the words remain the same, and if someone else needs to "check the form", I'd be asking questions about the experience & qualifications of the individual that completed the form.

    Thanks,

    I have the awful feeling the second solicitor deliberately gave me a load of bull over the phone. They mentioned some legalese terminology concerning the deeds which in retrospect had already been covered by the original solicitor when I was called in to sign AS1 six months ago. They used that terminology to smokescreen me when I asked what my forms were suddenly doing with a conveyancer? I had clearly asked them to simply send AS1 to the Land Registry. Thus currently they are holding my paperwork against the client's will, contrary to the wishes of the client. Don't you just love solicitors? I am fast losing my patience with them.

    FreeBear, that link states that:-

    "There is no requirement on the part of Land Registry that you use a solicitor or other legal adviser to complete an application and send it to us."

    If the solicitor continues to be evasive when I catch up with them, refuses to send AS1 to the Land Registry, am I within my rights to formally direct them to return AS1 to me please, by way of a letter of release?

    I am very suspicious that all these solicitors including the set supposed to be 'on my side' are in fact trying to wear me down until I agree to (or beg for?) a variation order. At the moment they hold my deeds and the AS1 as a very powerful, painful and worrying lever. They are also in free correspondence with the opposing solicitor who has said nothing new for 6 months, and that is costing me a fortune, so pressure is being applied to me from two directions - opposing solicitor draining my funds with useless correspondence and the deeds to my only home now being held hostage in a solicitor's office meant to be representing me.

    The only positive thing to emerge from these hellish 6 months is that I overpaid the tax man, and the current solicitor has written to HMRC over this. Apart from that I am getting ready to cut loose; apart from HMRC they are doing and have achieved exactly nothing it seems to me.
  • orwenorwen Forumite
    197 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hi,

    The opposing solicitor just delivered (yet) another letter to my solicitor saying a lot about nothing in particular - still no formal claim although claim 'imminent' they say, delayed due to mysterious research, which remains mysterious. So much for the Solicitors' Code which advises that solicitors make claims evident so that they can be assessed, to date we have had six months of court threat with nothing substantial to back it up.

    Meanwhile my solicitor - not the opposing solicitor - has just informed me that due to changes in Stamp Duty coming in for the new financial year, my deeds to my only home will be delayed in being processed because the conveyancers will be busy with the Stamp Duty changes in respect of other clients' properties. What am I to make of that please? This is a live issue for me, I didn't even know who to put down for the Home Insurance renewal and had to seek advice. My own solicitor is now actively protracting the insecurity for me here. I wrote back and said the additional delay was unreasonable - not sure whether to escalate that, or indeed how to?

    Many thanks.
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