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Non protected rights payment made to me....PLEASE HELP!

(18 Posts)
Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Mon 19-Sep-11 18:07:19

Back in April 2010 my dad died and had a pension with Standard Life, i received a call and letters from Standard Life when i informed them of his death, stating they would be making two payments out, one was NON PROTECTED rights and one was PROTECTED RIGHTS, the man at Standard Life stated that the PROTECTED RIGHTS would need to be paid to the estate which was fine, and that they would pay out a discretionary NON PROTECTED RIGHTS to myself as i am the only family member, and that, that payment would be made to me, and the estate should have NO interest in this payment.

Fast Forward to now, and the small amount i received as non protected rights is gone, and i have had emails and letters from the lawyer dealing with the estate telling me i owe that money to him as both payments were meant for the estate?

Now I'm in a state, and pretty much crying over the comp, as i don't have this money, nor did i think it was meant for the estate as i was clearly told at the time it wasn't and i had a letter saying so, i showed this letter to the lawyer but he is still disputing i, the estate is pretty much insolvent at the minute with many debts also and i'm extremely stressed and worried.

I'm in Scotland btw in case there is a difference? Can someone with some legal experience please help me.

prh47bridge Tue 20-Sep-11 10:06:34

I'm not an expert on Scottish law but I don't think it makes any difference whether you are north or south of the border. The non-protected rights fund is usually distributed at the discretion of the pension fund's trustees and does not form part of the deceased's estate. I therefore think Standard Life are right.

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Tue 20-Sep-11 12:06:30

Thank you prh47bridge, i think i appointed truly the worst lawyer i could have found to deal with the estate, do you think it would be worth me calling Standard Life myself, before he writes to them?

I know for definite that i was told by Standard Life that the non-protected rights are mine, and the estate should have no interest in them.

nocake Tue 20-Sep-11 13:25:20

I agree, assuming pensions law is the same north of the border. The trustees of the pension fund have absolute discretion when paying out so they can decide who it should go to. It is never part of the estate (this assumes the pension hadn't been paying out to him before he died).

I've found a bit on the HMRC website. Look at the paragraph entitled "Death benefits from a company, personal or stakeholder pension".

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Tue 20-Sep-11 15:07:54

Well i called Standard Life this afternoon, to be told exactly what i thought! "The non protected rights are discretionary and are NOT part of the estate" only the Protected Rights form part of my late Father's estate!

Although my solicitor in question still says he will write to them! Bloody idiot of a man!

agedknees Tue 20-Sep-11 17:14:12

I would contact the SRA and make a complaint against the solicitor.

OneHandFlapping Tue 20-Sep-11 17:17:00

Make sure he writes to them at his own expense - not yours.

nocake Wed 21-Sep-11 11:55:35

I was about to suggest you contact the named executors of your father's will and tell them that the solicitor is wasting their money by writing uneccesary letters (assuming the solicitor isn't the exector)... but I see from your OP that the estate is insolvent so I'm not sure it makes any difference. The solicitor is probably scrabbling around trying to pull in as many assets as he can to pay off the debts.

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Thu 22-Sep-11 15:14:14

I am the executor of the estate, cause he died without a will and it is insolvent, however I spoke to Standard Life again yesterday and they have most certainly confirmed he is talking shit, and the guy at Standard Life, said about the lawyer "he obviously didn't know much about law" which is great to hear hmm

nocake Thu 22-Sep-11 15:30:39

If you're the executor you can sack the solicitor. You can also tell him not to write the letter.

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Thu 22-Sep-11 15:35:40

I have informed him not to write the letter, not heard anything back yet, If i sack the solicitor now i'm going to have to pay his fees right now, and i'm not in a position to do that, so i'm stuck with him!

nocake Thu 22-Sep-11 15:55:29

So are you liable for the legal costs of winding up an estate that has no money in it? Normally the costs can come out of the estate but what happens in your case?

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Thu 22-Sep-11 16:18:50

Well yes i'm liable according to lawyer for legal costs, i'm wishing i had said i didn't want to do it, and just left it, i said yes because i was his only family sad

nocake Thu 22-Sep-11 17:01:43

I'm not an expert but I think an insolvent estate should be declared as such which means the rules for administering it are different. Has this been done?

If the solicitor is costing you money for no gain you could tell him to stop doing any more work on this.

Some info here.

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Thu 22-Sep-11 17:21:06

Thanks for the link i shall go look now, you see i don't think he has done this, or informed the debt companies of this either, i fully believe he thought the estate was valued at around 135k when actually the house is only only the market at 105k and there is a mortgage to be paid from that of 78k and an unsecured loan at 25k plus others and i don't think he had factored any of this in!!!

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Thu 22-Sep-11 17:23:40

oh god, i've just read that and im horrified, so i could be held now responsible for all my father's debts equating to well over 40k? Bearing in mind that i have no money and im on disability benefit? This does not bear thinking about!

bubbles4 Thu 22-Sep-11 17:52:10

Have a look here,I,m no expert but I thought that if a person didnt leave enough money to pay a debt the debt died with them.
It may be worth giving the National Debtline a phone for some advice.

Lisatheonewhoeatsdrytoast Thu 22-Sep-11 18:06:15

bubbles4 thanks!! I saw that lawyer last week, i asked him if there was no money left at the end, that i would have to pay it, and he said no, i wasn't accountable for it!

At the moment though, we are not 100% it will be insolvent it is just looking like it with the housing market?

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