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To expect to have heard from my late cousins solicitor by now.

(21 Posts)
Flowerofthewest Wed 30-Oct-13 16:33:07

I may sound mercenary but it has been almost a year since my dear cousin passed away without leaving a will. Myself and seven other members of the family are sharing in the estate. This has been confirmed by the solicitor who is dealing with the estate. She has contacted a cousin of mine a month ago to say that the estate is settled and just the utilities to pay. I am not 'gagging' for the money but I just feel that the solicitor is hanging onto the money to earn interest. I may be wrong. It does seem unfair. I know these things take time, my cousin died last December so it is over 10 months ago.

Please do not think I am greedy or sitting around waiting for a cheque to drop through the door. I would like to know if anyone else has had dealings with something similar.

whenim64 Wed 30-Oct-13 16:39:09

Yes, my aunt's estate took a year to be wound up, and the beneficiaries had to wait until all else had been sorted out first, as paying out final cheques has to be correct, otherwise they would be asking for money back if yet another unexpected charge or bill came in, including solicitors.

JessM Wed 30-Oct-13 17:21:02

How long does it take to pay a few utility bills? half an hour? I would call the solicitor and make an enquiry myself.

Flowerofthewest Wed 30-Oct-13 18:25:01

Have sent a polite e-mail 3 days ago but nothing yet. She was on holiday hmm

Stansgran Wed 30-Oct-13 19:05:52

I would also ask who audits the solicitors' account and when is the next audit. About three years after my uncle's will was settled a cheque for several hundreds appeared after an audit by external auditors .

KatyK Wed 30-Oct-13 19:20:07

My uncle's took about 18 months

Wheniwasyourage Wed 30-Oct-13 21:24:15

My mother died in January and her estate is not quite wound up yet. Was there a house to be sold? That would have taken some time, after all. There seems to be an endless series of things to deal with and I suppose it's better to get them done once and for all, rather than have to go back over it later. I hope you hear soon.

Deedaa Wed 30-Oct-13 21:36:49

When my Aunt died one of my cousins told us all that her son was executor and was sorting it all out. (She had no property so it was just the money) It was some years ago now but I don't remember waiting more than a few weeks for my share.

FlicketyB Wed 30-Oct-13 22:08:37

It took more than a year to sort my DF's estate. He had left a will and my sister and I were executors of the will and the only beneficiaries, but there was a house to sell and various shares to be sold, bonds to be cashed etc and solicitors work so slowly and need constant chasing.

Eloethan Wed 30-Oct-13 23:15:30

I may be wrong but I thought that monies held by a solicitor on behalf of clients must be paid into a client account and any interest accruing paid to the client/clients.

LizG Wed 30-Oct-13 23:42:38

Sadly dying intstate will cause a delay because the solicitor will have to make sure that all legal claimants are found. There are very strict rules to be adhered to. I believe you are right Eloethan

Flowerofthewest Thu 31-Oct-13 00:35:20

I suppose I have listened to too many cynical people. My cousin did have her own house and it was sold within 6 months or so of her dying. Feel terrible talking about her money. shhhhh! my poor sister is waiting for new teeth, porcelain if you ever did. She may be gummy for a while if she goes ahead and has them out. I am just wondering from time to time. Thanks for all messages. Will just rest on my laurels.

Some of the beneficiaries live in Australia and had to be traced (children of my late uncle's son)

FlicketyB Thu 31-Oct-13 08:07:10

A distant relation of DH died intestate some years ago. The family inheriting were numerous. It took three years for DH to receive his share - all of £169.

Flowerofthewest Thu 31-Oct-13 08:27:52

The thing is Flickety, and the sad thing is that I had not seen my cousin for many years. She never married and had only one cousin on her mother's side. There are only 8 legal claimants my father was one but he died 30 years ago so the inheritance come's down the bloodline to my sister and myself. It just seemed a long long time. I had forgotten about it until a cousin, who is in contact with the solicitor rang me saying that the house was finalised and only the utilities to be settled. All people benefiting from the will have been contacted a while ago. Oh well, I still wait.

apricot Thu 31-Oct-13 17:55:02

My brother died last February and we knew he had left £1000 each to my sister and me. We haven't got it yet but I feel sorry for his sons, who won't get a penny until his widow dies, although he did leave something to their children.
What should I do with my bequest? It's a lot of money to me but not enough to fix the roof or go to Australia.

Stansgran Thu 31-Oct-13 19:26:44

Buy premium bonds. You never know.

apricot Fri 01-Nov-13 17:30:44

Yes, I'd thought I'd buy Premium bonds. I've got enough already that I win £25 every few months. A better return than the bank.

FlicketyB Fri 01-Nov-13 18:38:52

Flowerofthewest, it is the way intestacy works. The legacy DH received was from the childless daughter of his grandfather's youngest sister.

There were 9 siblings and we knew nothing about any of them except his grandfather, born 1880, who was the eldest. This great aunt's daughter lived 100 miles away and would probably have wanted her money to go to a cats home or a kindly neighbour. But because she never made a will it was spread around about 40 people who didn't even know she existed until they received the letter from the solicitor and about whose existence she had no knowledge either. I suppose as she didn't own a house and only had about £10,000 or so in savings it didn't seem important to her.

The moral of this story is; make a will, even if your resources on death will only be a couple of thousand pounds. It is not difficult and you know, no matter how little you leave, it will go to whoever you want to leave it to.

janerowena Fri 01-Nov-13 22:01:14

It can take a couple of years easily if the person didn't leave a will, there are so many places that have to be checked. Nine months with a will seems to be about average. My father didn't leave a will and bits and bobs of money were all over the place.

sunseeker Sat 02-Nov-13 10:16:52

Eloethan is right - money from the estate should be paid into a Client Account by the Solicitor, it won't earn much in the way of interest because it can't be in a long term account but an "easy access" one.

If the Solicitor has said that the estate has been wound up and that only utilities need to be paid then I would expect payment to beneficiaries should follow quickly.

In some cases a notice is put in a newspaper (I think its the London Gazette and usually a local paper) stating that the person has died and anyone with a claim on the estate (owed money) should contact the solicitor by a set time. However this is usually done early on so I would think anyone with a claim has already been paid.

Any beneficiary is entitled to contact the solicitor and enquire about progress. On completion of the estate you would also be entitled to see an estate account, showing how much money was realised from sale of assets, bank accounts etc. and what money was paid out, debts, utilities, solicitors fees and beneficiaries.

Flowerofthewest Mon 04-Nov-13 22:40:56

Thanks Sunseeker, very informative and