I am dealing with an estate which now seems to be insolvent. The deceased had only a small estate and the Executor cannot be located (it was a solicitor at a firm that has ceased trading, but was a personal appointment). The first residuary beneficiary has died and the second residuary beneficiary was to make an application for Probate but the Probate Registry rejected their application and said we need to trance the Executor. We only have a name and business address so the quote for this is in excess of £500 plus VAT for initial searches into tracing them.
Prior to the testators death, their affairs were being managed by a professional deputy at a firm of solicitors. The estate is only one bank account with £13k in it. The professional deputies fees come to £15k.
Given that their fees have essentially bankrupted the estate can my client now decline to deal with the estate, since they will end up paying out for tracing and professional fees on a insolvent estate? The deputies can apply as a creditor of the estate for a grant and have their fees settled from that.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Gemma Van Duke