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  • FIRST POST
    • KarenT1978
    • By KarenT1978 12th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    • 28Posts
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    KarenT1978
    Contacting the courts for progress on a will
    • #1
    • 12th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    Contacting the courts for progress on a will 12th Mar 18 at 7:28 AM
    Hello,

    Over a year ago my father passed away. Since then as executor of his will I have been trying to organise the probate on his estate or as it is known in Scotland “Confirmation of the estate.” The solicitors who are handling the estate have been appalling. The estate is very straightforward, it comprises 3 high street bank accounts and a small house. For over a year now we have suffered with these solicitors producing inaccurate paperwork and their promises of a whole series of missed deadlines, at which point they claimed the estate would be settled and confirmation of the estate would be granted. Initially they said it would take six months. We were then told 10 months in it would conclude in November. Following a meeting in mid January of this year, where I was asked to sign some paperwork that was to be sent to the courts, we were told the paperwork would be processed by the courts in a couple of weeks and that would be everything settled. It is now mid March and we are no further forward.

    Previously the solicitors were asked to arrange power of attorney for my father and after the promised three month deadline to organise that had expired, and despite the solicitors assurances that the matter was in hand, off of my own back I contacted the office of the Public Guardian to enquire about my Fathers application only to be told they had no record of it. At that point the solicitors then changed their story stating they had neglected to post off his application.

    Given their track record, I am fed up being fobbed off with the solicitors stock answer that my paperwork is still with the courts, that being the case could anyone please advise if it is possible for me to contact the courts directly and to ask why there is a delay and indeed do they actually have a record of my application. The solictors I am dealing with are a large Glasgow based firm so I would imagine it would be a Glasgow based court that I would need to apply to.

    Thanks in advance.

    K
Page 1
    • Rubik
    • By Rubik 12th Mar 18, 8:56 AM
    • 78 Posts
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    Rubik
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 8:56 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 8:56 AM
    Yes you can contact the Court yourself as you are an executor. I'm assuming the confirmation has gone to the Sheriff court, contact the Sheriff Clerk's office, and they should be able to advise you when (or even if) the application was received, and when it is likely to dealt with.

    If you are unsatisfied with the current solicitors, remember you are free to choose different solicitors. It might be worthwhile trying to address the current issues with the solicitor you are using; you could write to the practice manager setting out what it is you are unhappy about, and what resolution you would like to achieve.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 12th Mar 18, 9:20 AM
    • 9,608 Posts
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    AnotherJoe
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:20 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:20 AM
    I'm not familiar with Scottish law, is it necessary to use a solicitor?
    • Rubik
    • By Rubik 12th Mar 18, 9:30 AM
    • 78 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    Rubik
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:30 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 18, 9:30 AM
    No, not always necessary, but if the estate is complex, or there are family disagreements or other factors that may mean legal advice and support would be beneficial then using a solicitor would be worth considering.

    Personal choice at the end of the day - some executors (or personal representatives) may chose to use a solicitor, regardless of the complexity of the estate because they don't have the time or the confidence to deal with the estate.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 12th Mar 18, 10:13 AM
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    AnotherJoe
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:13 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:13 AM
    OPs circumstance though doesn't sound complex? In fact exactly the same as my Mums which I'm doing now, one house, no mortgage, 2 bank accounts and an ISA. I completed the forms* in about an hour and will be sending off once I've got my hands on the original will which requires a trip to get.

    Someone in another thread asked the question "will probate take a long time" and the answer was "not unless you use a solicitor". This seems to be a classic example.

    Seems to me they almost have a scam going on, making what is actually a simple process (for the majority) seem complex and thus worth the charges. And would I be paranoid to think they drag it out to make it seem more complex? (my answer, yes but that doesnt mean I'm not right )

    You said
    Personal choice at the end of the day - some executors (or personal representatives) may chose to use a solicitor, regardless of the complexity of the estate because they don't have the time or the confidence to deal with the estate.
    The confidence but i understand, the former, dont have the time, no, because it takes more of your time using a solicitor than doing it directly.

    OP if it turns out that the solicitors havent done it yet i sugegst you instruct them to abandon unless papers lodged within 14 days, if they dont it say you wont be paying as they have been unreasonably long and do it yourself.

    * probate form a PDF, online valuation.
    Last edited by AnotherJoe; 12-03-2018 at 10:15 AM.
    • Rubik
    • By Rubik 12th Mar 18, 10:19 AM
    • 78 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    Rubik
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:19 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:19 AM

    * probate form a PDF, online valuation.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    That would only be for applying for probate in England & Wales - not Scotland.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 12th Mar 18, 12:03 PM
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    AnotherJoe
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 18, 12:03 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 18, 12:03 PM
    That would only be for applying for probate in England & Wales - not Scotland.
    Originally posted by Rubik
    OK. Are the forms more complex? Full of legal jargon?
    • Rubik
    • By Rubik 12th Mar 18, 3:03 PM
    • 78 Posts
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    Rubik
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:03 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:03 PM
    OK. Are the forms more complex? Full of legal jargon?
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    I woudn't say so - have a look for yourself - https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/607122/C1.pdf
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 12th Mar 18, 4:18 PM
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    AnotherJoe
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 4:18 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 4:18 PM
    A piece of the proverbial then, its a scandal that solicitors draw out stuff like this.
    Its in plain english, and they will ask you to provide all the info just to fill in on the form so it will take just as long or longer than filling it in yourslef.
    • Rubik
    • By Rubik 12th Mar 18, 4:30 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    Rubik
    There's so much more to estate administration than just filling in the probate or confirmation form. Not everyone is confident at completing forms, not everyone has English as a first language, some people have dyslexia, some people prefer to let someone else do the work - and don't forget that people who are facing applying for probate/confirmation are grieving because a loved one has died and the thought of having to deal with paperwork is a bit too much at that particular time.

    It's not a "scam", or a scandal.

    And your comments are not helpful, and especially (I would imagine) to the OP.
    Last edited by Rubik; 12-03-2018 at 5:08 PM.
    • KarenT1978
    • By KarenT1978 12th Mar 18, 6:00 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    KarenT1978
    Thank you
    Thank you all for your advice. Rubik your contributions in particular have been invaluable. Today thanks to your suggestion I phoned the commissary department of the Sheriff court. I was Initially wary that they would not tell me much but the upshot was they could not have been more helpful. Their representative knew my case instantly due to the number of times they have had to send incorrectly filled out forms back to my solicitors for reprocessing. They appear to be extremely scathing of the way my solicitors have conducted their business. However the good news I got from them was that my petition was granted on Friday and subject to a 3 day delay can be actioned this week.

    When I started out in this process I was under the impression that if you were dealing with what is termed a large estate then you had to apoint by law solicitors to process it. Having read this thread I went back and re read the various websites explaining what is required and realise now appointing solicitors is only recommended if it’s a large estate. Although my fathers estate is termed large legally it is in total worth considerably less than £100 000. So by the time it gets split up amongst the various beneficiaries it will be nice to have but no ones life is going to be changed forever by it. I just wish with hindsight I wasn’t giving some of my dads money over to a group of solicitors for a job done extremely poorly.

    Thanks again to all.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 12th Mar 18, 7:02 PM
    • 9,608 Posts
    • 10,687 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    There's so much more to estate administration than just filling in the probate or confirmation form. Not everyone is confident at completing forms, not everyone has English as a first language, some people have dyslexia, some people prefer to let someone else do the work - and don't forget that people who are facing applying for probate/confirmation are grieving because a loved one has died and the thought of having to deal with paperwork is a bit too much at that particular time.

    It's not a "scam", or a scandal.

    And your comments are not helpful, and especially (I would imagine) to the OP.
    Originally posted by Rubik
    It's a scam and a scandal I was quoted around £2k for filling in forms I can fill in myself and did in an hour.
    It's a scam that there is nothing complex in many estates but solicitors act as if the whole process Is highly complex and needs their Expertise in all cases.
    It's a scam that they are told the forms are complex (because why else would you need a solicitors) when they are straightforward.

    Yes not everyone is up to it but many more would be if they looked at the forms rather than assume it's awful legalese and this is why the government is moving towards making these available online, because they are straighforward for many. if they weren't they wouldnt put them online.

    Yes some can't do it for the reasons you mention but many more can and we shouldn't given the impression here that throwing money at all solicitor is the default.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 12th Mar 18, 7:36 PM
    • 4,271 Posts
    • 3,486 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    It's a scam and a scandal I was quoted around £2k for filling in forms I can fill in myself and did in an hour.
    It's a scam that there is nothing complex in many estates but solicitors act as if the whole process Is highly complex and needs their Expertise in all cases.
    It's a scam that they are told the forms are complex (because why else would you need a solicitors) when they are straightforward.

    Yes not everyone is up to it but many more would be if they looked at the forms rather than assume it's awful legalese and this is why the government is moving towards making these available online, because they are straighforward for many. if they weren't they wouldnt put them online.

    Yes some can't do it for the reasons you mention but many more can and we shouldn't given the impression here that throwing money at all solicitor is the default.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    As Rubik said it is not a scam or a scandal. If you read a few of these threads you would find many people saying that it is relatively easy to DIY possibly with a bit of guidance. In any case there is much more than filling out the forms to obtain probate. The reality is that if you want professional services you have to pay for all the expertise and overheads plus of course some profit.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 12-03-2018 at 11:40 PM.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 12th Mar 18, 9:17 PM
    • 1,716 Posts
    • 2,318 Thanks
    badmemory
    It will be interesting to find out how much extra it has cost for all the incorrectly filled in forms! Because they will have charged for their errors.
    • Rubik
    • By Rubik 13th Mar 18, 8:12 AM
    • 78 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    Rubik
    Thank you all for your advice. Rubik your contributions in particular have been invaluable. Today thanks to your suggestion I phoned the commissary department of the Sheriff court. I was Initially wary that they would not tell me much but the upshot was they could not have been more helpful. Their representative knew my case instantly due to the number of times they have had to send incorrectly filled out forms back to my solicitors for reprocessing. They appear to be extremely scathing of the way my solicitors have conducted their business. However the good news I got from them was that my petition was granted on Friday and subject to a 3 day delay can be actioned this week.

    When I started out in this process I was under the impression that if you were dealing with what is termed a large estate then you had to apoint by law solicitors to process it. Having read this thread I went back and re read the various websites explaining what is required and realise now appointing solicitors is only recommended if it’s a large estate. Although my fathers estate is termed large legally it is in total worth considerably less than £100 000. So by the time it gets split up amongst the various beneficiaries it will be nice to have but no ones life is going to be changed forever by it. I just wish with hindsight I wasn’t giving some of my dads money over to a group of solicitors for a job done extremely poorly.

    Thanks again to all.
    Originally posted by KarenT1978
    Happy to have been of some help. I'm pleased that you were able to get a good level of detail on your application.At least you now have clarity on when confirmation will be granted

    You should not have to pay for the time spent correcting the solicitor's errors, so when you get a bill in, make sure it is fully itemised (it should be anyway) and go through it with a fine tooth comb to make sure that charges for error corrections haven't been included. And if they have - personally I would refuse to pay them.
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