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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22146
Experience:  37 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My husband died on 27 February 2013 leaving a fairly straightforward

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My husband died on 27 February 2013 leaving a fairly straightforward will. He has always paid bills on time and at the date of his death his only debts were for his funeral, catering, a St Johns ambulance bill incurred shortly before he died and some money that he owed me. Our yacht which was left to one of his sons was handed over prior to probate being granted and there have been some problems around this action which I will not go into. As a result of the ensuing delays, one of his children canvassed the family suggesting an action that would settle the issue and all family members and myself agreed. The proposal was put to the lawyer with copies of everyone's consents and the lawyer reluctantly agreed. The family understood that this action would speed up the process but on enquiring regarding the further delay since this action, we have just been informed that nothing will be paid out of the estate for 12 months after Probate was granted which I believe was prior to 19 April 2013 The children are upset about this. Can you please advise what the minumum time for settlement is as all matters in my husbands will and his verbal requests have now been dealt with and any further delay appears unnecessary.
Also, my husbands bequest to me ( live in house, car and income from a unit) was very straight forward and should not have required me to involve my lawyer. However due poor management of relationship property (where I was expected to pay the estate for relationship property which I kept saying I believed was mine by right) I eventually had to contact my lawyer and now I am faced with a bill of over $2000. Is there any way this can be recovered from my husbands lawyer. If the lawyer had managed things correctly as he should, I would not have needed a lawyer.

christhelawyer : HiWelcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear
christhelawyer : Once probate has been granted, and the debts paid, and all the beneficiaries agree, there is no reason why the estate has to be held for 12 months. If you advertise for creditors, which is sometimes done, then some cautious lawyers wait 6 months, but 12 is unnecessary.
christhelawyer : if the lawyer has caused a problem then perhaps the way to proceed on that is to the Lawyers Complaint Service at
christhelawyer : This would enable you to raise the issue of the costs you assert are wasted by the lawyer, and if this was unnecessary, he may have to deal with a complaint on this.
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