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Why is my solicitor sitting on my money?

(10 Posts)
pippala Sun 13-Nov-11 23:44:28

My Mum's probate was granted at the begining of July, 9mths after she died.
Her husbands probate was granted begining of Aug, 10mths after he died.
Completed on the sale of their house two weeks ago.
But so far I have only been given an intrim payment of 25 % of the inheritance.
The inheritance tax was paid in June.
The solicitor has told me that she has most of the money from accounts etc including money from house, so why is she holding it?
I know she mentioned that ppl may come forward to make a claim but they were in their 80's and had no friends,debts etc just me and my SS and SB.
Solicitors bill now over £10,000 and I am fed up of being patient.
She has several £0,000's in her account. Will she pay me the interest for the last year?

workshy Sun 13-Nov-11 23:50:03

not sure why she is sitting on it but in terms of interest I had the issue with a house purchase -solicitor rang us and said he needed the money as the other party was ready to push on (I was a cash buyer) so went in the same day with a bankers draft -and then it was a further 8 weeks before it exchanged

I put in a complaint and got the interest knocked off the fees

hope you get it sorted soon

zipzap Sun 13-Nov-11 23:57:23

Sorry, no idea about the legalities of it but next time you speak to them it might be worth pointing out that you could be getting [insert current best interest rate for that amount on the highstreet] so that you expect that they will be getting that amount and passing it on when they hand it over. and to tell you exactly how long that should be.

I do have a vague recollection typing this though that they sometimes take the interest as 'payment' for looking after the money for you. hmm

Hope you all get it soon; if not could you all sign something to say that if any legal claimants come forward the three of you will each pay a third of their claim?

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Mon 14-Nov-11 09:49:04

You are entitled to interest on money held on your behalf in a solicitor's client account. You should be able to find details on the Law Society website.

They certainly do not have the right to take a payment for "looking after the money for you" - if this is attempted make a complaint straight away! Details of complaints procedure again on Law Society website, the procedure is very straightforward, you can easily handle it yourself, and there are strict time limits imposed for dealing with the complaint.

I can see no reason why the solicitors could not make an interim payout from the estate, even if they felt it necessary to hold back for a little while on a portion of the estate in case unknown debts come to the surface.

I would ask the solicitors for an interim payout and mention that you will expect to be paid interest on the money held for the whole period until they pay it out to you in full. Interest should be at a rate roughly equal to an average rate earned on an instant access bank deposit account.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 14-Nov-11 09:58:03

>Interest should be at a rate roughly equal to an average rate earned on an instant access bank deposit account.
which is 2/5ths of bugger all, but yes, mention interest as it might motivate them to get their finger out.

When DH was executing his uncle's will, it did take quite a long time. The solicitors made a few accounting errors - well, no-ones perfect but they were all in their favour ...so he had rather jaundiced view of them.

I don't know why it should take this long. My mother died at the end of June, relatively simple as no house to sell or tax, but you've dealt with those aspects. I received the bulk of my share end of August, the last K or so in October.

pippala Mon 14-Nov-11 10:23:10

Thank you all.
We have signed an indemity in case any claim was made. There are no debts, they didn't believe in credit cards even!
We have asked several times and been told we will get the money when the estate is closed.
we are still waiting for some shares to be transferred and premium bonds to be released but the solicitor is sitting on over £600,000 and it has now been over a year.

CarrotsAeNotTheOnlyVegetables Mon 14-Nov-11 11:07:26

Grimma, even at bugger all %, interest on £600k for over a year should be a few grand!

pippa, this all sounds highly dodgy. Your solicitor is hanging on to your money for no reason at all.

At this stage I would make a written request for the money (and interest owed) to be paid out within, say, 14 days. If this is not forthcoming, send a written complaint. You should find the complaints procedure set out in the engagement letter you should have had when you instructed them. This will also contain details of the basis on which fees are to be charged so you can checjk their fees are reasonable.

Check out the details of the Law Ombudsman scheme on the law Society website. That will give you details of how to proceed if the solicitors do not respond to your satisfaction. You can also ask for a review of the fees charged if you think they are unreasonable.

emsyj Mon 14-Nov-11 15:58:18

Who are the executors, is it you or the solicitors?

There is a time limit of 6 months from the date of the grant of probate (not the date of death) for claims under the Inheritance Act. Where the executor is a solicitor, they will not normally pay out until this period has passed as they would then be at risk of a claim being made and no funds to pay it out.

If you are the executor, then ask them directly why they are not paying the majority of the funds as an interim distribution.

mumblechum1 Mon 14-Nov-11 17:50:56

You need to go over the solicitor's head to their managing partner. The money should absolutely be in a designated client account and earning interest.

pippala Tue 15-Nov-11 18:13:31

Thank you for your responses.
We sent an email yesterday explaining why we were unhappy.
Email received today transferring £170,000 as 2nd interim payment.
Also said that they would call after 4pm to discuss but as yet no call!
My husband and I are executors of my Mum's will and SS and SB executors of my SD will.
I have not had any monies from their side yet although my solicitor gave them their half of the house two weeks ago. I particulary told her to hang on to it until they gave me the 1/3 from the father's will. She said we legally had to give it to them so don't they legally have to give me the 1/3 I was left?
If probate was granted nearly four months ago surely an executor has to give the the money as stated in the will.

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