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Probate problems

Posted: 08 Jun 2017 16:51
by BanjoP
Hello - I have researched this and other forums so I hope that I am not repeating old questions. I am writing on behalf of my husband whose father passed away in Cyprus in January. My husband went out to Cyprus and already had a copy of a will and found the solicitor in pahos it was lodged with. Husband is named executor and assets are to be shared between him and two siblings. There is some money in the bank account, a car and an apartment. Title deeds are with solicitor. Nothing complex. Husband went with solicitor as named in Will to use for admin.
On this first trip he attended court a couple of times with Solicitor and attended the Mukhta alone and signed a power of attorney as instructed. On return he provided evidence of earnings etc as requested. Then nothing heard at all.
Husband returned to cyprus just three weeks ago requesting an appointment for update. Solicitor dragged him to court and insisted that he hand over the executorship. The probate officer also was insistent that this needed doing. We only want him to administer the Will in court for us. By phone I told my husband that I did not think we should do this (after forum research). We have repeatedly asked for a summary of costs and the process. None of this has been provided. The solicitor was not happy and my husband soon returned to England with nothing movingforward.
Solicitor then emailed asking for some money and we replied stating we would but reiterated that we would like costs and plan set out. This resulted in a very petty email about blackmail and has really upset us.
So really I am after some reassurance and advice please -
do we have to stay with this solicitor as he was named to use on Will?
How would we cancel him and get all our original paperwork back?
We have lots of questions but I would be so grateful for some input. Thank you.

Re: Probate problems

Posted: 09 Jun 2017 12:05
by Nigel Howarth
Hello banjoP & welcome to the forum.

Unfortunately Louise is a very infrequent visitor of the forum these days.

There must be something in your late father-in-law's Will that convinced the probate officer (a court official) that the lawyer named must act as the executor of his estate.

What is the precise wording of the Will concerning the appointment of this lawyer? I want to know if he was appointed just to handle the probate or something more.

(I'm surprised a lawyer was named - it's usual to name relative/close friend as executor who can then 'shop around' for a lawyer to handle the actual probate.)


Re: Probate problems

Posted: 09 Jun 2017 12:29
by BanjoP
Thank you Nigel. My husband is named as executor BUT the last clause in the short will states..... ' It is my wish that all legal matters relating to the administration of my Estate be undertaken by the Law office of..."

Re: Probate problems

Posted: 09 Jun 2017 13:26
by Nigel Howarth
Hi banjoP

The administration of an estate involves identifying the assets and liabilities of the deceased, paying any outstanding debts and ensuring that their estate is distributed according to their final wishes.

And I believe as this statement 'trumps' the appointment of your husband as executor as it appears after his in the Will. I suggest you speak with a lawyer in the UK to confirm this.

If I'm correct then I'm sorry to say that your husband may have no option but to allow the lawyer to act as the executor.

Unfortunately many people have made the very expensive mistake of appointing a lawyer in Cyprus to administer their estate and I'm afraid that your late father-in-law has inadvertently done this.

The Cyprus Bar Association maintains a system of minimum fees for out of court work including Wills, powers of attorney, property transactions and the administration of estates. You can find the regulations at Cyprus Bar Association Minimum Fees Regulations.

(There's currently a complaint being investigated by the European Commission against the minimum fees regulations and the role of the Cyprus Bar Association in enforcing them.)

If you would like to 'PM' me the name of the lawyer, I'll add him to my blacklist.