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  • FIRST POST
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 9th May 17, 9:51 AM
    • 97Posts
    • 53Thanks
    gll5dm
    Very difficult situation regarding grandmother's will
    • #1
    • 9th May 17, 9:51 AM
    Very difficult situation regarding grandmother's will 9th May 17 at 9:51 AM
    Hi all,

    I!!!8217;d appreciate any advice anybody may have on this. It will be quite longer winded, so thanks in advance if you!!!8217;re prepared to read and reply.

    My grandmother died 20 years ago and left money to her daughter (my mother), and her four grandchildren (me, my two brothers and the son of her second husband!!!8217;s son whom she didn!!!8217;t know).
    When she died !!!8211; and I don!!!8217;t know how it happened !!!8211; the solicitor in charge of her will told us we had all been left X amount. Let!!!8217;s say 30k each for the sake of argument. This money would only be accessible for those under 25 (everybody apart from my mother) if there was a valid reason, for example a school trip, a first car, study fees, etc.

    It couldn!!!8217;t just be given out willy-nilly, so to speak, aside from my mother!!!8217;s share which she was given right away and used for home improvements and a nice family holiday.

    The fourth grandchild that my grandmother didn!!!8217;t know was left twice as much as her own daughter, as, prior to the death of my grandmother!!!8217;s second husband, he!!!8217;d had a huge argument with his son and cut him out of the will and left that share to his grandson, essentially giving him two shares and everybody else one.

    This went on for a decade, before the solicitor retired and passed it on to a different company, who then told us the conditions were actually completely different, and that the money was being saved in !!!8220;stocks and shares!!!8221; and was being kept in a fund, not divided up between everybody but rather available for everybody to access if they had a valid reason, which I find completely crazy.

    The parents of the fourth grandchild were given permission to take an interest-free loan of 30k from the will around 10 years ago, and have seemingly only just paid it back recently, while the final two grandchildren (the fourth one plus my younger brother) will turn 25 next year. Once this happens, I have been told by the solicitor, any funds remaining will be split four ways between us.

    I have also been told that those over 25 cannot access any further funds until the final grandchild reaches 25, so myself and my older brother essentially need to sit and wait and see whether the fourth grandchild makes a request for further funds, even though he!!!8217;s received far, far more than even my grandmother!!!8217;s only child.
    We assume he!!!8217;ll be doing all he can do drain as much from what remains (around 40k) in the fund, in the knowledge that once he passes 25 he!!!8217;ll have to do as we are doing now, which is sit and wait for my younger brother to turn 25 which happens a few months later next year.

    Does anybody have any advice here? This guy has received an awful lot of money from the will of a grandmother he didn!!!8217;t even know, while my mother who has been scrimping and saving for years could end up without a further penny from what her mother left behind.

    We need to somehow get access to these funds to stop this guy from draining even more than he already has. It appears my younger brother is the only one who can access them, given that only he is under 25. I!!!8217;d love nothing more than to be able to hand my !!!8216;share!!!8217; of what!!!8217;s left over (currently around 10k per person) to my mother, but know this fourth grandchild can request funds for another year over and over again until there is nothing left.

    Thanks for any advice and tips.
    Last edited by gll5dm; 09-05-2017 at 10:00 AM.
Page 7
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 2nd Feb 18, 4:27 PM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Time to file a formal complaint.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 5th Feb 18, 4:31 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    Time to file a formal complaint.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    I mean, I get why it's taking so long (due to the state of the documentation and mess created by previous companies) but do wish this new fella would not promise to get back in touch and fail to stick to that, time and time again. We'll wait until this Thursday before we get back in touch and question why we've not heard anything despite his claim of getting back in touch within a fortnight.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 12th Feb 18, 11:04 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    Into the fourth week since we were told we'd know more within two weeks. Time to get back in touch I feel to ask what on earth is going on.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 19th Feb 18, 8:56 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    No reply to my e-mail at the start of last week, and my mother called his offices on Wednesday asking for a return call. Alas nothing came. It all sounded so promising at first with this company, but has gone downhill very quickly to the point of them completely ignoring us.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 19th Feb 18, 8:58 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    Jeez louise... this is a saga. So apparently the PA to the solicitor now handling this phoned my mother this morning to let her know there is no penalty fee for withdrawing the investments early and that the whole thing ought to be able to be wrapped up within a fortnight. I await further info.
    Originally posted by gll5dm
    So much for that, huh? That was promised back at the start of November. What a gang of fools!
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 26th Feb 18, 3:40 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    Into the sixth week after being promised updates "within two weeks". I've now tried one last time for an update before we go to the ombudsman. Will wait until Wednesday and then start the ball rolling.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 26th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
    • 3,976 Posts
    • 3,245 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Into the sixth week after being promised updates "within two weeks". I've now tried one last time for an update before we go to the ombudsman. Will wait until Wednesday and then start the ball rolling.
    Originally posted by gll5dm
    You have to use the firm!!!8217;s own complaints procedure before the Ombudsman will look at it.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 12th Mar 18, 3:16 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    You have to use the firm!!!8217;s own complaints procedure before the Ombudsman will look at it.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Latest update on this: I contacted the firm via email to request a copy of their complaints procedure. It's been three weeks and I have had no reply at all.

    Apart from that, we all received a letter from the solicitor handling the case (2 weeks ago) to state he is awaiting info from the previous trustee because there is apparently some sort of issue and info he requires to be able to work out who is set to receive what.

    The best part about that is he apparently emailed this previous fella end of January, then at that time told us he'd be in touch with in a fortnight, then just left it six weeks for the guy to reply but didn't bother keeping us up to date. The other guy didn't reply (probably thought he'd washed his hands of it all and didn't need to) and so it took my mum to track down by putting his name in Google and finding where he's working now, calling and speaking with him and asking him to get in touch with the new fella to move this along.

    To be fair to him he rang my mother back and told her he'd speak to the other previous trustee to try and clear up the new trustee's request, and then said he'd get in touch with this new guy.

    The old trustee said he has no idea what info the new one is requesting as, as far as he is concerned, all paperwork was given to the new firm and there is no info that he can give that the new solicitor does not already have.

    So here we are, close to one year down the line and with ZERO progress.
    • buildersdaughter
    • By buildersdaughter 13th Mar 18, 9:37 AM
    • 119 Posts
    • 347 Thanks
    buildersdaughter
    The 'thank you' button says 'glad you like it'. Whereas I want to say 'thank you for updating us, and continued best wishes with all of this'!
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 13th Mar 18, 10:23 AM
    • 3,909 Posts
    • 6,107 Thanks
    Malthusian
    Latest update on this: I contacted the firm via email to request a copy of their complaints procedure. It's been three weeks and I have had no reply at all.
    Originally posted by gll5dm
    Just write them a letter with "FORMAL COMPLAINT" at the top.

    Set out why you are complaining (lack of progress, failure to keep to promised timescales, with details), and how you want them to resolve it (get on with it).

    The solicitor is not allowed to make you jump through hoops to file a complaint so there is no need to wait three weeks for them to tell you what the hoops are.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 14th Mar 18, 4:36 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    Just write them a letter with "FORMAL COMPLAINT" at the top.

    Set out why you are complaining (lack of progress, failure to keep to promised timescales, with details), and how you want them to resolve it (get on with it).

    The solicitor is not allowed to make you jump through hoops to file a complaint so there is no need to wait three weeks for them to tell you what the hoops are.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    I get what you're saying and it absolutely makes sense. But what happens when they don't get back in touch? Go and tell the Legal Ombudsman and have them assist?

    I found this info:
    Law firms have eight weeks to consider and respond to a complaint. If you are unhappy with the response, or have waited more than eight weeks, you can go to the Legal Ombudsman. You must do this within six months.
    Last edited by gll5dm; 14-03-2018 at 4:38 PM.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 14th Mar 18, 4:42 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    The only thing about the above is the solicitor will simply say he is waiting for input from previous trustees and cannot do anything until they get in touch (as that was his excuse recently for waiting since middle of January for a response to an email he sent to the previous trustee). So what's the point of the formal complaint, really?

    We complain, saying it's taking too long, they're not communicating with us as promised, it's not been wrapped up as they had assured us it would be. They get back in touch and say they can't complete it until they hear back from previous trustee(s). I don't see what the Legal Ombudsman could do about that to speed things up?

    Obviously I am no expert on this matter so please point out if something obvious is missing here.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 14th Mar 18, 6:40 PM
    • 1,542 Posts
    • 1,976 Thanks
    badmemory
    A proper written complaint may well concentrate their minds. If it isn't in writing it doesn't exist. There are a lot of threads on this forum that say we rang and complained & they did nothing so we rang again & they had no idea we had complained.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 14th Mar 18, 7:00 PM
    • 3,976 Posts
    • 3,245 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    The only thing about the above is the solicitor will simply say he is waiting for input from previous trustees and cannot do anything until they get in touch (as that was his excuse recently for waiting since middle of January for a response to an email he sent to the previous trustee). So what's the point of the formal complaint, really?

    We complain, saying it's taking too long, they're not communicating with us as promised, it's not been wrapped up as they had assured us it would be. They get back in touch and say they can't complete it until they hear back from previous trustee(s). I don't see what the Legal Ombudsman could do about that to speed things up?

    Obviously I am no expert on this matter so please point out if something obvious is missing here.
    Originally posted by gll5dm
    Simply not so. Solictors are obliged to have a formal complaints handling procedure. Write, by letter, not email, to the senior partner setting out logicly and unemotionally what your complaint is. All it will cost is a little effort and a stamp. It will have much more efect than posting on here. Sorry to be blunt but the ball is in your court.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 15-03-2018 at 2:23 PM.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 15th Mar 18, 10:36 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    Simply not so. Solictors are obliged to have a formal complints handling procedure. Write, by letter, not email, to the senior partner setting out logicly and unemotionally what your complaint is. All it will cost is a little effort and a stamp. It will have much more efect than posting on here. Sorry to be blunt but the ball is in your court.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    No need to apologise, I truly value your advice and have done throughout this thread. Thanks once again for commenting!
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 5th Apr 18, 9:57 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    Official complaint has been sent in the post and would have been received by yesterday at the latest. Let's see if they bother responding ...
    Last edited by gll5dm; 05-04-2018 at 3:33 PM.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 12th Apr 18, 9:19 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    Obviously not expecting an answer yet but it's been a week since my complaint would have been received.

    Any ideas what the maximum time is they are allowed to take before responding?
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 12th Apr 18, 9:35 AM
    • 3,976 Posts
    • 3,245 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Obviously not expecting an answer yet but it's been a week since my complaint would have been received.

    Any ideas what the maximum time is they are allowed to take before responding?
    Originally posted by gll5dm
    I don.t know what the time limit is but 14 days seems reasonable. The important thing is to keep up the pressure an document everything with dates and times. Contemporaneous notes carry much more credibility.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 12-04-2018 at 11:48 AM.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 12th Apr 18, 11:36 AM
    • 3,909 Posts
    • 6,107 Thanks
    Malthusian
    In the finance world there is an explicit duty on firms which receive a complaint to provide an initial response "promptly". In the vast majority of cases the initial response simply acknowledges the complaint and includes a copy of their complaints procedure.

    I haven't been able to find out whether the same is true in the legal world, but I agree with YM that 14 days is reasonable to confirm receipt.

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority does say explicitly that if they haven't resolved the complaint to your satisifcation within eight weeks you can go to the Legal Obmudsman.
    • gll5dm
    • By gll5dm 18th Apr 18, 10:44 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    gll5dm
    So now the solicitors will have had my formal complaint two weeks and are yet to acknowledge receipt of it. Emails from over two months ago have not been responded to and phone calls not returned.

    What should the next step be? Approach the legal ombudsman and explain the situation?
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