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Change of lawyers costing £££'s

(3 Posts)
SymphonyofShadows Tue 28-Mar-17 16:38:38

My aunt died recently and had changed her will once she had the diagnosis that her illness was terminal in order to tighten up some loose ends. She was visited at home by a legal assistant who basically talked her into changing the executor from a family member to the lawyers, specifically the person who visited, as it would be "less trouble for your family at a difficult time".

Initially this person was dealing with the estate when my aunt first passed away, but is now supposedly ill and the matter has been passed onto a senior partner. He has submitted a list of his charges to the beneficiaries which are about four times as much as the original person that my aunt signed up with. I know they probably can do this but I wondered if there was any obligation on them to go with the rate quoted to my aunt during the visit? (my cousin has found the letter setting out the costs that the original person quoted) I know she would never have agreed if she thought it was going to cost £200 an hour and I am fearful that my cousins, one of whom really needs the money, is going to end up with nothing. Is there any way of ensuring they stick to the original price quoted?

I am also deeply suspicious that the house clearance company that the new lawyer has appointed has deemed the contents of 'no value' when it's stuffed full of mid century modern G Plan classics, but that is another tale.

TheInimitableMrsFanshawe Tue 28-Mar-17 16:54:02

In response to your second point, my dad is currently arranging for clearance of my Gramps' house and has been told the same. You're essentially paying them to take the stuff away so it's only if the value of the contents outweighs the cost of clearance that you will get anything for it.

Turning to the first point, it's probably up to the executors to approve the costs of dealing with the will. If your aunt's affairs are straightforward it shouldn't cost a fortune. Part of the reason partner rates are higher is that they can do things more quickly and without supervision than a legal assistant who may be more unsure, need to look things up, have work checked etc. So it looks cheaper but probably works out about the same. No reason it wouldn't be possible to request a lawyer with a lower rate do the work.

SymphonyofShadows Tue 28-Mar-17 17:24:38

Thanks. My cousin suffers from depression and is in ill health and has really struggled since my aunt died, so she is tying herself up in knots about this. I will suggest a cheaper solicitor in the practice. From the communications I have read this one seems very arrogant, which isn't helping.

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