Solicitor handling probate

Jeanmac

Registered User
Messages
13
Hi,
I was wondering if any solicitors or others can advise what level of service a solicitor handling probate is expected to provide?

For example, would be expected to verify all monies/asset values or is the onus on the executor to do all that?
To date, we have experienced several "surprises" along the way. To me they were mistakes that are unacceptable, but the solicitor played them down ; when pointed out there was no acknowledgement of the mistakes, and certainly no apology.

An example of this is incorrect amounts reported to probate. A correction was applied after the error was pointed out by executor, and this was explained to be normal practice i.e. normal practice to have to make a correction. Note, probate report omitted several hundred thousand euro that was contained on a "Valuation at death" report received from one institution. Other omissions applied also.

When closing accounts from a bank, the solicitor did not do a reconciliation between the value at the date of death, and the value of the monies received. Is this normal? Pointing out that one institution refunded approx 1500 less than the value at the date of death drew a very uninterested response - along the lines of follow it up yourself if you want.

Emails/phone-calls are eventually followed up on, but it could take weeks, and some questions are just ignored.

Is this a normal level of practice? The solicitors were engaged to provide a level of comfort that things would be done correctly. At this stage the trust is gone, and the client(Executor) in this situation is made to feel very much like an annoyance.

So I am wondering if we were just unlucky with our choice, or is this "normal" and I need to reset my expectations.
 

Feemar5

Frequent Poster
Messages
296
I was executor for two estates in the past couple of years and did not have problems with the solicitor. He wrote to all the banks in the area as well as to financial institutions that I knew the deceased had dealings with. He dealt with Revenue, Social Welfare and LPT. It looks like a very big mistake if several hundred thousand euro was omitted from Probate - you are paying a professional and I would expect a professional service. Mistakes can happen but to answer your question I would say you were unlucky and you should convey your dissatisfaction in writing to the person involved and maybe copy the law society.
 

Curlywurly

Registered User
Messages
32
I would also expect that the Solicitor should be able to provide the service he/she is paid for without errors such as you have mentioned. It is not the norm to do corrective affidavits after Probate has issued for assets that were known to form part of the deceased estate prior to filing Probate application. If you are unhappy with the solicitor for any reason (and you appear to have many reasons) you should contact the Law Society. Solicitor should change his/ her tune then and I am quite sure apologies will be forthcoming in abundance. However that does not excuse the shoddy work.
 

Jeanmac

Registered User
Messages
13
Thanks for your replies - it is good to know that it not a normal level of service.
At this stage, we the family of the deceased just want it to be "over" - it wasn't a complicated estate, no debts, no disputes, but we are totally worn out by it all. I will consider providing feedback in writing if/when we ever get to the end of the process.
 

DirectDevil

Frequent Poster
Messages
620
Conceptually, a solicitor is expected to exercise such a degree of care as it reasonable to expect in the provision of their services.
Whilst wrinkles can appear periodically in probate matters what you describe seems to be quite poor professional performance.
I think that there may be no inefficiency when it comes to invoicing you.
I would be inclined to make a formal complaint to the solicitor about the inadequacies as you see them. If you get no satisfaction you can complain to the Law Society as per Corlywurly at post #3.
 
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