Responsible

My response to the lawyer’s email and invoices is as follows:
Hi [Lawyer colleague]
Thank you for the email and attachments.

Everything seems to have got into a bit of a muddle, and we had actually begun to give up hearing back from [Lawyer].

From the outset, we asked for the cost of two wills and the fee, or rate, to act as co-executor so that we could choose who to go with. [Lawyer] responded to our web form enquiry from January – but did not discuss costs. I asked again by email, and I then telephoned and left a recorded message on 2nd February. When I did speak with [Lawyer], we arranged to meet at our home on Saturday 11th February, during which we were told she charged £60 for a will – and that she hadn’t increased this for a while, and that she really ought to raise her prices. She explained that it would be best if she wasn’t formally named as an executor, but that she would rather be informally on hand should one of us require support and assistance on an ad hoc basis in the event of the death of one of us. Despite lacking certain details, she would be able to email through draft wills within a day or two.

On 13th February we received a recorded message from [Lawyer] in response to our enquiry from 2nd February, it was clear that she didn’t realise that she had dealt with this enquiry, and when we did not receive the drafts, after nearly a month, we were surprised to receive your email and invoices out of the blue.

You will surely understand that as we have not heard anything, we have had to start shopping around elsewhere, and now have appointments lined up in this regard.

We had expected draft wills about three weeks ago, and would have expected to pay £120 on completion of the two wills. We are surprised to see invoices for £200 (the most expensive we’ve been quoted to date), discounted down to £160. These are very generic drafts, and are not what was discussed, for example, one of them mentions [Lawyer] as executor – which is a surprise, especially as we do not have an idea about the fees for that would be.

I am sure you can appreciate our position in light of the above. You have asked us to accept your apologies and because of the family bereavement, we are, of course, prepared to do so – as long as you are prepared to stick with the original plan as agreed at our meeting.

If you can remove [Lawyer] as executor, we’ll provide the details required to complete the wills. On completion of the wills, we’ll pay your corrected invoice for £120 all as expected, as discussed and as agreed. If these terms are now unacceptable to you, please let us know as soon as possible because we have appointments and arrangements to consider.

We liked [Lawyer]when we met her, and accept that things can get muddled up in such circumstances. We have no wish to cause [Lawyer]additional distress or concern, and any pains we have taken with this email have been to clarify and nothing more.  Please pass on our heartfelt condolences to her if you can.
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