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New Guidance for Solicitors

Law Society issues new guidelines New guidance issued by the Law Society tells solicitors that "If the estate is small or straightforward, it may not be appropriate to encourage the client to appoint you or your firm as the executor". Solicitors should only sell their services if the circumstances of the estate make a professional executor desirable. Clients must also be told that appointing non-professionals only is acceptable. Solicitors are still able to promote their services but clients should be told that if lay persons are appointed as executors in a will they always have to option to appoint a professional to help them. Clients should be made aware of what the charges are likely to be, whether they are made up of hourly rates or a percentage of the estate. It should also be made clear whether the charges are for administering the estate or for advising and supervising others. Solicitors who are asked to renounce their executor status should now take into consideration whether the probate could be easily handled by a non-professional.

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