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Probate 
Post: #1   PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 3:31 pm Reply with quote
ApusApus
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
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Location: Paphos

 
Looking for some advice here please!

After 6 years our Probate is almost completed and we have received invoices from our Lawyer for the Legal Fees for payment.

Our Lawyer has broken down the figures and I understand the mathematics involved but she cannot (or will not) explain how the figures are arrived at other than to say that they are set by the Cyprus Bar Association & Court!

Does anyone know what formula the CBA use to calculate the Legal Fees to be applied against an Estate under Probate ......... or isn't there one and it's just a finger in the air job?

Thanks


Shane
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Post: #2   PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 7:59 pm Reply with quote
cansweet
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
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Location: cuckoo land

 
A good friend of ours has recently completed probate in Cyprus with a Cypriot lawyer (In Paralimni). Value of the estate was aprox 250,000.00 (almost all property related) and the cost inc fees, etc came to just over 4000.00. I would consider that reasonable and everything worked out good.

Maybe if you gave us some idea of your costs v the estate amount we could understand it better?
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Post: #3   PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 8:22 pm Reply with quote
ApusApus
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Location: Paphos

 
cansweet wrote:
A good friend of ours has recently completed probate in Cyprus with a Cypriot lawyer (In Paralimni). Value of the estate was aprox 250,000.00 (almost all property related) and the cost inc fees, etc came to just over 4000.00. I would consider that reasonable and everything worked out good.

Maybe if you gave us some idea of your costs v the estate amount we could understand it better?


It's slightly more complicated in that there are 2 Probates running simultaneously, the first covers transfer of property from the late Husband to his Wife and the second covers transfer of that property from the late Wife (Mother) to her Daughter who is my Wife. The Wife/Mother passed away before the first Probate was concluded.

The figures are scary compared to your friend, for the first Probate the Estate value is euros 189,500.00 and the legal fees are euros 13,869.00 while the second is euros 245,000.00/16,755.00 which gives a total of euros 30,624.00 in legal fees! Shocked

Any help in challenging this much appreciated?


Shane
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Post: #4   PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:42 pm Reply with quote
cansweet
Joined: 22 Sep 2009
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That's really costly, but not knowing what's being paid for means it would be difficult to comment or give advice. Hope you get a good outcome to this. There's good people on here who may guide you.
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Re: Probate 
Post: #5   PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 6:32 am Reply with quote
nhowarth
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ApusApus wrote:
Does anyone know what formula the CBA use to calculate the Legal Fees to be applied against an Estate under Probate


You can find the CBA dictated minimum fees for out of court work, which includes administration of estates at
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A formal legal complaint about the minimum fees has been taken to the European Commission.

Regards,

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Nigel Howarth
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Re: Probate 
Post: #6   PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 10:36 am Reply with quote
ApusApus
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35
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Location: Paphos

 
nhowarth wrote:
ApusApus wrote:
Does anyone know what formula the CBA use to calculate the Legal Fees to be applied against an Estate under Probate


You can find the CBA dictated minimum fees for out of court work, which includes administration of estates at
Links only visible to Registered Members
Register for Free or Login to the forum.


A formal legal complaint about the minimum fees has been taken to the European Commission.

Regards,


Thanks Nigel

Looking through the pdf, the formula my Lawyer has used corresponds exactly to the one on page 21 Annex F Clause II(d) so I guess we're stuffed and will have to pay up!


Shane
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Re: Probate 
Post: #7   PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 1:05 pm Reply with quote
nhowarth
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ApusApus wrote:
the formula my Lawyer has used corresponds exactly to the one on page 21 Annex F Clause II(d) so I guess we're stuffed and will have to pay up!


I'm afraid so. For future reference you can negotiate the lawyers fees and have them written into your will.

Regards,

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Nigel Howarth
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Post: #8   PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 4:09 pm Reply with quote
jeba
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I dont understand the inheritance laws in this country. Why do you need a lawyer unless there is any dispute? Cant you simply get a certificate of inheritance from the local court?
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Post: #9   PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:34 pm Reply with quote
ekon
Joined: 03 Aug 2006
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>apus apus. I saw your posts when researching this subject. Can I ask if you paid just (!) the sums calculated as per the formula Nigel linked to - or were there significant other costs added on to the "formula-based" billing amounts that you quoted? I don't mean just a few hundred s worth of disbursements, stamps etc but many thousands of additional costs.

> anyone. I am confused by AnnexF in the pdf document Nigel linked to:
In AnnexF - MINIMUM FEE AMOUNT FOR SERVICES IN RESPECT OF ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES - we have (page 20 in the pdf doc/& their page/section 1158):

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"I. If a lawyer is appointed as a lawyer of an estate administrator or
executor of a will:
(a) Interviews, conferences with heirs or other persons:
On the basis of Regulation 12.
(b) Preparation of documents, notices, letters:
On the basis of Regulation 12.
(c) Preparation, deposit or receipt of documents from any Authority
or Bank:
On the basis of Regulation 12,
(d) Administration of immovable or moveable property of the
estate:5% of the amounts received; in the case of rent 5% of the
annual rent.

Then also in Annex F just after "I." as posted directly above is:
II. "If the lawyer is appointed as administrator of the estate or executor
of the will" ...and then the formulae as previously referred to.

So which is the method for calculating a fee that is relevant to a situation where the solicitor was named in the will as executor? A fee which is one of the 4 minimum fee formulas?..the relevant minimum fee from the formula plus the "reasonable fee in accordance with criteria laid down in Reg.12? ..the 5%?, or is that 5% plus a "reasonable fee" as determined by the criteria in Reg.12?

When it talks about the 5% it says "Administration of immovable or moveable property of the estate:" - is that perhaps when a lawyer is hired as a mere administrator (by the executor) as opposed to a full-blown executor role.

Any guidance would be very much appreciated.


Last edited by ekon on Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:00 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Probate 
Post: #10   PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:32 pm Reply with quote
emanon
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I believe that you go to the CBA and asked for the cost 'to be taxed'. One lawyer of mine did that and his costs were lowered! I rather thought that it was a fair way of doing things Good luck Very Happy
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Post: #11   PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:11 am Reply with quote
ekon
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thanks for that emanon - I now have the relevant reference on the CBA website.
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Post: #12   PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:16 pm Reply with quote
ApusApus
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35
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Location: Paphos

 
ekon wrote:
>apus apus. I saw your posts when researching this subject. Can I ask if you paid just (!) the sums calculated as per the formula Nigel linked to - or were there significant other costs added on to the "formula-based" billing amounts that you quoted? I don't mean just a few hundred s worth of disbursements, stamps etc but many thousands of additional costs.

> anyone. I am confused by AnnexF in the pdf document Nigel linked to:
In AnnexF - MINIMUM FEE AMOUNT FOR SERVICES IN RESPECT OF ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATES - we have (page 20 in the pdf doc/& their page/section 1158):

Links only visible to Registered Members
Register for Free or Login to the forum.




"I. If a lawyer is appointed as a lawyer of an estate administrator or
executor of a will:
(a) Interviews, conferences with heirs or other persons:
On the basis of Regulation 12.
(b) Preparation of documents, notices, letters:
On the basis of Regulation 12.
(c) Preparation, deposit or receipt of documents from any Authority
or Bank:
On the basis of Regulation 12,
(d) Administration of immovable or moveable property of the
estate:5% of the amounts received; in the case of rent 5% of the
annual rent.

Then also in Annex F just after "I." as posted directly above is:
II. "If the lawyer is appointed as administrator of the estate or executor
of the will" ...and then the formulae as previously referred to.

So which is the method for calculating a fee that is relevant to a situation where the solicitor was named in the will as executor? A fee which is one of the 4 minimum fee formulas?..the relevant minimum fee from the formula plus the "reasonable fee in accordance with criteria laid down in Reg.12? ..the 5%?, or is that 5% plus a "reasonable fee" as determined by the criteria in Reg.12?

When it talks about the 5% it says "Administration of immovable or moveable property of the estate:" - is that perhaps when a lawyer is hired as a mere administrator (by the executor) as opposed to a full-blown executor role.

Any guidance would be very much appreciated.



Hi ekon

Hopefully I understand your question/questions!

Firstly, we ended up paying a fee based on the formula in Annex F II & that was it. However, you need to establish the value of "the Property" to find out which formula applies to you ....... the formula is then straight forward to work out! Secondly, you mention "other costs" but I'm not sure what you are being charged for here so can't comment really! And thirdly on this subject, it is possible to negotiate the fees payable ............... we did it so don't let the Lawyer tell you otherwise!!

On your other query, I think you are mis-reading Annex F ............... sub-clause I of Annex F actually refers to the charges relating to the preparation of Wills/Estates etc and doesn't apply unless you are creating a Will!

Trust this helps but if you need any further information .............


Shane
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Post: #13   PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:56 pm Reply with quote
ekon
Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 9
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Thanks Shane.
If the bill was just(!!) one that was solely based on the minimum fee formula like yours I think my friend would be less concerned. However, it appears that no prior agreement on fees was made when the will was set up - with the solicitor being sole executor.
Hence it appears the bill will probably be the formula plus other fees. It could cost more, possibly much more than just a formula-based bill.

The valuation of the property (particularly the house) is as you say the starting point for the formula but I have not actually seen a bill as yet. Also I do not yet know how solicitors here arrive at that all important valuation for probate (maybe it's the same procedure as in UK - but maybe it's not!).

I would be interested to know how people who have been subject to the minimum fees formula regarded the valuation on which it was based..i.e. was it realistic in terms of reflecting the market value of the property at the time of death of the owner/part owner which I assume(?) to be the criteria used.
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Post: #14   PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:31 pm Reply with quote
ApusApus
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35
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Location: Paphos

 
ekon wrote:
Thanks Shane.
If the bill was just(!!) one that was solely based on the minimum fee formula like yours I think my friend would be less concerned. However, it appears that no prior agreement on fees was made when the will was set up - with the solicitor being sole executor.
Hence it appears the bill will probably be the formula plus other fees. It could cost more, possibly much more than just a formula-based bill.

The valuation of the property (particularly the house) is as you say the starting point for the formula but I have not actually seen a bill as yet. Also I do not yet know how solicitors here arrive at that all important valuation for probate (maybe it's the same procedure as in UK - but maybe it's not!).

I would be interested to know how people who have been subject to the minimum fees formula regarded the valuation on which it was based..i.e. was it realistic in terms of reflecting the market value of the property at the time of death of the owner/part owner which I assume(?) to be the criteria used.



As I understand it the Lawyer claims their fees from the CBA payment, ours must have done as she didn't charge us anything else!

Regarding the property valuations, our Lawyer was quite happy for us to arrange these & we used a Property Management company who were RICS registered ........... mind you it cost us 400 euros!

Finally, remember the CBA fees & the Lawyer fees are NEGOTIABLE but you have to be firm & if push comes to shove then you can make a formal complaint to the CBA about the Lawyer's conduct! This is significant as it is recorded on the Lawyer's record & if they get too many "red cards" they can be struck off! It took us an hour or so of haggling but we got a significant reduction in the end so it is possible!


Shane
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Post: #15   PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:37 pm Reply with quote
ekon
Joined: 03 Aug 2006
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thanks again Shane - especially re the cost of the RICS reg'd professional valuer. It may provide something to use when comparing what the solicitor says he paid for similar services (if he does quote a professional fee for that valuation).

When you say you got a sufficient reduction in the end do you mean a discount "off" the CBA Min.Fees Formula-based bill - negotiated after it was presented?

Clearly (well to me anyway!) the Minimum Fee formula on its own gives a very good reward for the work involved in a simple probate case. However, as stated, my friend's spouse (now sadly no longer "with us") did not, as far as I know, negotiate a fee/fee structure at the outset and the surviving spouse is now open to what someone on here called "enthusiastic" billing - aka imo greed!
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Post: #16   PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:47 am Reply with quote
ApusApus
Joined: 26 Jan 2016
Posts: 35
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Location: Paphos

 
ekon wrote:
thanks again Shane - especially re the cost of the RICS reg'd professional valuer. It may provide something to use when comparing what the solicitor says he paid for similar services (if he does quote a professional fee for that valuation).

When you say you got a sufficient reduction in the end do you mean a discount "off" the CBA Min.Fees Formula-based bill - negotiated after it was presented?

Clearly (well to me anyway!) the Minimum Fee formula on its own gives a very good reward for the work involved in a simple probate case. However, as stated, my friend's spouse (now sadly no longer "with us") did not, as far as I know, negotiate a fee/fee structure at the outset and the surviving spouse is now open to what someone on here called "enthusiastic" billing - aka imo greed!



Bear in mind that our valuation bill covered 2 properties so if you have only one then I would assume the cost would be less ............ but then again this is Cyprus!

And yes we had an invoice from the lawyer which was based on the CBA formula and we got a "discount" off that. Basically, we argued for a while and eventually threatened to make a formal complaint to the CBA at which point the bill became "negotiable"!


Shane
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Post: #17   PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:42 am Reply with quote
ekon
Joined: 03 Aug 2006
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thank you Shane..very interesting.
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