Auckland bereaved families at higher risk - lawyer

Published: Fri 8 Feb 2019 09:09 AM
Auckland bereaved families may be at particular risk of being overcharged for preparing court paperwork, especially when someone has died suddenly without leaving a will.
‘Several people have told me they were quoted $3000 - or even more - for “letters of administration”,’ said lawyer Cheryl Simes, whose own firm Kiwilaw offers an inexpensive online document preparation service.
‘One woman told me three different Auckland law firms had quoted between $3000 and $3500. This was for a simple estate – Kiwisaver – less than $100,000.’
‘Another family had apparently been told $5000. They said the lawyer told them it was compulsory to use a lawyer to do all the estate administration, not just the application to the High Court for a grant of administration. If that is indeed what they were told, it is wrong and unethical.’
‘These are in straight-forward cases, with no legal or factual complications, no land transfers, no disputes. It is difficult to understand why the expected costs of letters of administration would exceed $1500, plus perhaps another hour at most for the rest of the estate administration.’
‘I know of other lawyers, including in Auckland, who charge less than $1000 for the same work.’
‘I would like the New Zealand Law Society to investigate whether such instances are exceptional or whether they occur reasonably often,’ Simes concluded. ‘Grieving families are particularly vulnerable. They should be able to trust lawyers not to take advantage. It should not be a lottery.’

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy
By: Statistics New Zealand
Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate
By: Joint Press Release
Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea
By: Ministry For Primary Industries
New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand
By: IDC New Zealand Ltd
Whale-watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online
By: University of Auckland
Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million
By: Commerce Commission
Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed
By: Ministry of Health
New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs
By: New Zealand Hemp Industries Association Inc
One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs
By: Statistics New Zealand
ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast Shows NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain
Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic
By: New Zealand Transport Agency
Engineers Assess Damage To Auckland Harbour Bridge After Truck Strike
By: NZ Transport Agency
Motorists Urged To Avoid Damaged Auckland Harbour Bridge
By: NZ Transport Agency
Harbour Bridge: Public Transport A Great Option And Plan Ahead
By: Auckland Transport
Second Harbour Crossing Needed Now, More Than Ever
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media