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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33310
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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Hello, My estranged sister engaged a Solicitor to administer

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Hello,

My estranged sister engaged a Solicitor to administer my father's well (he passed away February 2012).

Previously the Solicitor has advised they would only deal with the Executors of my father's will. Are they entitled to do so under the SRA code and policy Or is it up to their discretion should they wish to inform beneficiaries of progress?

Given I am estranged from the Executor, I am in the dark on the processing of my father' will.

Many thanks
Christopher

ps. My concerns are heightened having seen this Solicitor recently received a fine of £15,000 from the SRA. The firm in question is JPS Law.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
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Are you a beneficiary in this will?
Hi
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to help you.
I am afraid that the solicitors are correct - unless they themselves are the Executors then they can only deal with the Executors UNLESS the Executors authorise them to also deal with the beneficiaries.
You can find out whether or not probate has been granted using the process here
http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/probate/standing-searches
I hope that whilst disappointing this is of assistance - if you need further details please ask
Claire
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33310
Experience: 25 years experience of all aspects of family law
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Since my question on here, both the Legal Ombudsman and the SRA have confirmed Beneficiaries are allowed to raise formal complaints against a solicitor. This may be something fairly recent?


 


SRA:


Following an initial assessment of your correspondence, we have identified you as a
consumer or a potential consumer of legal services provided by the above firm and that the
issues you are raising relate to the service that you received from the solicitor. A consumer
can be a client, former client or someone who was offered or refused legal services from the
law firm. It also includes Beneficiaries and Executors under a Will where the solicitor or law
firm you are reporting are acting in the administration of an estate.

Hi
Yes you are someone who can make a complaint about the way the case is conducted because you are due to receive money from the estate so if they handle it badly then you have a claim
What you are not is someone with whom they HAVE to communicate at this stage
After distribution if you complain - then they have to talk to you.
Claire
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,


 


There is another element to this which I should have mentioned.


 


The solicitor in question handled an employment tribunal claim for me (finalised July 2013) and agreed in writing that they would take their fees out of my share of my father's estate once available.


 


They have stipulated that if there are any problems in regards to the distribution of funds, they expect to have their fees paid in accordance with their normal terms.


 


Given the above, are they still not obliged to inform me when they expect probate to complete as it is in my interest as their client to pay their fee from the division of my late father's estate


 


Many thanks


Christopher.


 


 

Hi
Sadly no this does not change matters
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for confirming.


 


Can I confirm my understanding of your earlier reply:


I can complain about the handling of the case now and would be entitled to a claim if it's found later that they indeed handled it badly ? Or I can only complain after distribution? Apologies as I'd like to get this straight.


 


I should note, the solicitor wrote to me on the 15/01/13: "I am now in a position to apply for the grant and anticipate this will be extracted next month.".


 


I have lodged a standing search which has found probate is still not in place.


 


 

Hi
You can complain at any time - and the year delay certainly gives you grounds
You may find this interesting
http://www.step.org/tackling-troublesome-executors
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you, that's appreciated.


 


Christopher

Hi
You are most welcome - I hope the matters resolve
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Apologies, I just checked the link provided: As the solicitor is not the executor (they are administering the will), my estranged sibling and my late father's friend are joint executors...Does this change the situation in terms of making a complaint? And do I make the complaint directly to the solicitor first and if no joy, to the Legal Ombudsman?


 


Many thanks


 

Hi
Well that depends if the delay is caused by the Solicitors or the Executors
The starting point is to write and ask for an explanation of the delay
Clare

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