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Administering a simple estate - how long?

(9 Posts)
CocoaColoa Tue 21-Feb-17 12:12:02

In short, my MIL died December 2015. Her estate is fairly simple- a flat which has been sold, a bank account and a pension. There was an IHT liability.

We engaged a firm of professional administrators to administer the estate, but it is still going on- nearly 15 months later. Should it be taking this long? The IHT liability was paid one day before the 6 months deadline. The firm did not apply for the grant of probate until 8 months after date of death. No creditors have been paid still, and they have not done the London gazette advertising for creditors. We have requested regular updates but have been fobbed off.

How long is this all meant to take? This seems really crazy, when it seemd fairly simple.

kath6144 Sun 26-Feb-17 21:47:06

My mum died just over a year ago, she had a house and money in bank accounts. No IHT to pay. My DB and I were executors.

Probate applied for early April, granted late April, majority of cash split up a couple of weeks later. House completed at end of June, both paid direct from solicitors, then another couple of weeks to pay final bills and the estate was finalised mid July.

Why did you involve solicitors. If the estate was straight forward, you could have done it yourself.

My DC inherited from a cousin of mine, his executors were solicitors. He died in January 15, estate finally split in Feb last year, so all told 13 months, but they got probate after about 5 and made an interim payment from his cash (largest part of estate), after about 6 months.

Having said that, we then spent 9 months from Feb last year to Nov, working with another solicitor (stand in for original on Mat leave) to transfer my DDs money to myself and DH as trustees. He was so slow, it was unbelievable, so I can well believe you are still waiting!! He would never respond to emails or answer phone calls.

I came very very close to putting in a formal complaint to the firm. Maybe that is something you should consider. Have to hand the date of house sale and date of probate, then put a complaint in writing.

kath6144 Sun 26-Feb-17 21:49:56

Sorry, I see you used porfessional administrators, not solicitors. But my comments still stand. Can you put a complaint in writing? Do they belong to a professional body?

I would never choose to use a professional for executors work, having seen what my cousin's executors were like!

Winterbelle Sun 26-Feb-17 22:01:09

DM died in Dec 11. I had the probate interview in the following Feb and the grant of probate by March. There was a house sale that completed that Spring too.
I did all the (very straightforward) paperwork and it doesn't have to take long at all. Sorry, but it sounds like they are messing you about.

HRHCocoa Sun 26-Feb-17 22:18:54

Hi- OP here. Yes we think they are messing us about too.

FIL and MIL originally chose this firm as they wanted things to be as easy as possible for their children when they died and so we would not have to administer the estate ourselves. The same firm did FIL's estate when he died about 5 years ago, so they ought to have had a pretty good idea of everything from that.

We have drafted a complaint and will get DH's siblings to approve it before sending this week.

Thank you both for your responses, I am very grateful to you. thanks

TreeTop7 Mon 27-Feb-17 08:04:43

I dealt with a similar scenario for my parents' elderly friend. She died in the April and everything was finalised about 2 weeks before the Christmas.

As an accountant I sometimes deal with deceased clients' affairs and straightforward cases rarely take more than about 8 months iirc. If there's no fighting about the will, or problems with the way it was drafted, it shouldn't take as long as it has for you. Sorry you've had to go through all that professional incompetence on top of your bereavement. Do complain.

bimbobaggins Mon 27-Feb-17 13:42:08

Can I ask re people who have dealt with estates etc, is the money distributed by the lawyer dealing with the estate or is it given to the executor to distribute.

kath6144 Mon 27-Feb-17 20:53:30

Bimbo, in our case there were no solicitors apart from for house conveyancing. So cash was split by myself and the house proceeds paid direct to DB and I, half each, by conveyancing solicitor.

If there are solicitors acting as executors, they will do the money split, but am not sure what happens if the solicitors are working for, but not as, executors.

bimbobaggins Mon 27-Feb-17 21:41:26

Thanks kath, I'm just worried about the trustworthiness of the executor and family difficulties that are in places.

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