/ Advice on gaining closure of an Estate

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annieman 03 Oct 2019

My Auntie passed away some time ago and I've benefitted from her Estate. A 1/22nd level. A letter from the Solicitors dealing with her Estate sent a letter and substantial distribution dated 6th Nov 2017. In the letter it advised that they were retaining a sum to meet all Tax liabilities to the tax year ending 2017.

I reckon that the solicitors should have dealt with this by now.

There will be no money in it for me but I'd like to move her Estate to closure.

I've written and emailed but not had any response. Who is the body that I complain to?

Thanks for your help.

Post edited at 15:20
DancingOnRock 03 Oct 2019
In reply to annieman:

It takes weeks. They have to get probate first and last I heard there was a 6 week delay. 

Edit 2017!

What are you expecting in regards to closure? Have you been given what you have expected? Don’t think there’s anything else that will happen. 

Post edited at 15:08
DancingOnRock 03 Oct 2019
In reply to annieman:

You’d need to write to the executors for any information but they’ll probably only tell you about any parts of the will that concern you directly.

1
Eric9Points 03 Oct 2019
In reply to annieman:

Phone them and get a bit shouty if they try to fob you off.

1
DancingOnRock 03 Oct 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

You’ll look a bit silly if you don’t know what you’re shouting about. 

I tried to get information about a will that was going through probate and was told it had nothing to do with me. 

Once it’s through probate you can see it for fee of £1.50 on the government website. https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

Post edited at 15:40
neilh 03 Oct 2019
In reply to annieman:

Depends on the complexity of her estate. There maybe ongoing disputes about tax liability.

You need more information to draw a conclusion.

annieman 03 Oct 2019
In reply to annieman:

Thanks for the help. All sorted.

Previous letters and Emails had gone unanswered.

Another e mail today with a date when a formal complaint would be raised gained an answer within an hour.

Funny that!

Greenbanks 04 Oct 2019
In reply to annieman:

Not funny. Just, it seems, the way of the current world. After all, if politicians infer they're above the law, doesn't everyone just pile in with a similar cavalier approach? Glad your stuff sorted though.

yorkshire_lad2 04 Oct 2019
In reply to annieman:

I've done two estates now as lay exor (mother and a friend);  all in, it took about a year to bring things to a close.  It can take longer if the probate office (if probate is being applied for) are dragging their heels like they are at the mo, and there are issues or delays closing off any tax liability (if there's outstanding tax, the exors may want to retain some funds to cover any remaining liabilities).  It's possible to pay income tax before the usual deadlines to get matters closed but some people prefer to hold off paying till the usual deadlines.  If it's a capable friend or relative doing the exor work, and they have the time, energy, inclination and spirit to push things along, it can be fairly quick.  If it's solrs, they tend to do work in rotation and can take their own sweet time (but have to prioritise other stuff as well, and TBH, I've waited as exor when my lovely solrs had to put me on a back-burner for a week becase an urgent custody case came in); equally, I've heard some horror stories about the length of time solrs have taken to sort out an estate (never put a solr as sole exor in your will); you might have better luck talking to any lay exor.  Also, bear in mind that a will is a private matter until probate, and if you're not in the will or a close/dependent relative of the deceased, you don't really have any right to ask questions, and won't get to see the will until after probate.  even if you think you're a beneficiary, you don't have be to told anything in the early stages, but it's probably good sense for the exors to speak to the beneficiaries.

There's also no official closure of the estate.  All it really amounts to is distributing the assets afger liabilities etc (possibly with some funds held over to pay tax and fees) and drawing up some accounts (which are a private matter for the exors and beneficiaries, they don't have to be submitted anywwhere or published, which IMHO seems a bit of a loophole, but never mind!).

IANAL.

Post edited at 10:58
DancingOnRock 04 Oct 2019
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Yes. My experience as well. More detail there than in my reply.

My mother died over 10 years ago. We are still dealing with some elements of the estate...

Dax H 04 Oct 2019
In reply to annieman:

> I reckon that the solicitors should have dealt with this by now.

This is the key part. Has anyone on here ever been involved with a solicitor who has dealt with anything in a timely and efficient manner? I know I certainly have not. 

Last house sale our solicitor was saying the buyer hadn't returned paperwork, the buyers solicitor was saying we had not returned paperwork. What they didn't know was I was selling to a friend and we were in constant contact. It was amazing how fast things got sorted when I rang our guy and seh rang her guy whilst we were sitting at the same table having a brew. 

John Stainforth 04 Oct 2019
In reply to Dax H:

Yes, I had a good experience with the (second) solicitors I used to close my father's estate. The first lot of solicitors agreed to a rate per hour, but were slow and inefficient. Then they sent me a letter moving the goalposts as far as payment was concerned: they said that in a case like this, they would normally charge a percentage of the total value of my father's estate. This was going to be a ridiculous fee, so I changed solicitors to one who said they would charge a flat fee estimated at 1500 pounds, depending on the actual amount of work involved. The second solicitor was fast and efficient and ended up only charging me 1000 pounds, because the amount of work she had to do was less than she had anticipated! I was amazed to be charged so much less than the estimate. The whole process of winding up my father's estate only took about five months. 

I should add that my father had left his financial affairs in a very well documented state. All I had to do was compile all the data and take these and the covering documents to the solicitor. Although it was quite tedious going through all my father's papers and accounts, it had the merit that I thoroughly understood the estate and the numbers by the time I had went to the second solicitor, which made the solicitor's job relatively easy (for a professional like her). Her main job was entering the data correctly in various government forms and sending these off to the authorities.

Dax H 04 Oct 2019
In reply to John Stainforth:

So it's a 50/50 split in your case. 

John Stainforth 05 Oct 2019
In reply to Dax H:

Goodness me, I am not going to divulge the breakdown of my father's will! I will only say that actually there were a dozen legatees.

Dax H 06 Oct 2019
In reply to John Stainforth:

No, I don't mean a 50/50 split in the will, I mean a 50/50 split in your experience of a efficient solicitor and an inefficient solicitor.


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