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

Record Dry Spells And Effects On Forests – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Official Cash Rate Remains At 1.0 Percent
By: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Climate Change Throws Tree Seeding Out Of Sync – New Study
By: University of Canterbury
Novel coronavirus detected in China –Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Flooding could release toxic gas – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
More Rain For The South While Dry Continues In The North
By: MetService
Another dry week ahead, with temperatures rising
By: MetService
Auckland Set To Break Dry Spell Record
Rolleston Fire
By: Fire and Emergency NZ
Farmers Fear New Water Rules Could Push Them Under
The OCR Should Be Cut
By: Michael Reddell
MPS, OCR and FSR dates for 2021
By: Reserve Bank
Reserve Bank Of New Zealand Keeps Official Cash Rate At 1 Percent
XE Morning Update
By: XE Morning Update
Economic Growth Slowing Under Coalition Government
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media