In November 2017 we were referred a case by a Local Authority. The case was allocated to our Cases Manager Gemma Tame; who established that without the benefit of a valid Will the estate was to be treated as intestate.
Upon notifying key members of the family of their relatives’ death, they chose, bar one, to be represented by a solicitor’s firm known to one of them.
With only one member of the family as a client this developed into an unusual case. Normally, we would be the ones dealing with the estate administration and all the beneficiaries. Gemma’s goal became to ensure that her client received the correct amount from the estate, within what we considered a reasonable time frame.
Her initial dealings with the solicitors were quite challenging. Despite having her client’s authority, Gemma found her repeated request for updates on how the estate administration was progressing were ignored.
Then, in June 2018, our client contacted Gemma as the solicitors had sent her a Distribution Schedule.
Through her diligence and keen eye for detail, Gemma spotted a huge error in the schedule. It split the estate into 16 equal shares; indicating that there were 16 ‘lines’ of the family.
The correct number was 8. The solicitors had not applied the UK Rules of Intestacy correctly. They had failed to use the long standing ‘Per Stripes’ rule (required in all intestacy estates) and had simply divided the estate by the number of beneficiaries.
What did this mean? Basically, everyone was going to receive the wrong amount. The solicitor’s firm had calculated that our client was to receive £6,328.00 — the correct amount was £12,656.00 — double the original calculation.
Gemma prides herself on the good relationships she builds with both her clients and the professionals she deals with; as well as the professional level of service she provides as she progresses her cases.
Despite her experiences with the solicitors up to that point, Gemma gave them the help and advice they needed to calculate the correct entitlements. The solicitors then went from not engaging with her on any level, to seeking her further help; to locate beneficiaries that were believed to be overseas.
Gemma’s determination ensured the law was applied appropriately and that all the beneficiaries received their correct inheritance; even though only one of the 16 was our client.
As you can imagine, our client was extremely grateful for our involvement and thanked Gemma, both privately and publicly for her hard work and diligence.
Thanks to Gemma’s efficiency it was discovered my share of the estate (being calculated elsewhere) was in error and my entitlement was in fact very much more. My gratitude therefore to Gemma and Treethorpe for their diligence and professionalism and I highly recommend Treethorpe and the services they provide.
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