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In the news: Estate decimated by legal fees

The Times, dated 4th November 2017, reported that a couple were faced with an exorbitant legal bill of £115,000 which was “removed” from a modest £300,000 estate. The deceased, the father of Paul Cutler, 47, had appointed a solicitor as the executor of his estate in his Will. Mr Cutler was alarmed to discover that the costs for administering his late father’s estate were spiralling out of control. When Mr Cutler complained, he was informed that only the ‘client’ of the solicitors i.e. the executor, in this case, the solicitor themselves, could complain, despite the obvious conflict of interest.

The article warns against appointing a solicitor or a professional Will writer as an executor in a Will. Complex family dynamics or possibly lack of family ties altogether can mean that appointing a professional is a sensible option. In addition, the person appointing a professional has a natural desire to make sure that their affairs are dealt with effectively for their loved ones. What is not sensible is not being able to a) secure a fixed fee in advance of work starting and b) not being able to complain effectively at the service being provided. Many people assume that Wills and probate matters should sit with a solicitor. However, it is simply not possible for solicitors to be specialist in all legal areas. Probate can be complex but the fee should always be fair and provided upfront. Families have choices and getting a fixed fee quote from a specialist regulated provider should be something all families do.

Kings Court Trust have administered over 10,000 estates on a fixed-fee basis. Our team are experts in what they do because estate administration is all that we do. We believe that families should know the price in advance of the work starting thus negating any concern over ‘spiralling costs’. Families have a personal estate adviser, can use our technology to see how the work is progressing and there is complete clarity at every step. Appointing Kings Court Trust as an executor in your Will is a simple process and offers complete peace of mind. Un-appointing us is just as simple and is without a penalty for those left behind.