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scatty mare | 23:12 Fri 20th Jan 2006 | Business & Finance
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Several months ago, a friend of ours died, leaving his estate to be divided between his wife and children. He was the owner of several properties, one of which is to be sold shortly. My question is, is it legal/ethical for an offer to be made for the property by a representative of the probate service during a meeting with his widow?

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My own feeling is that it is certainly not ethical. Whether it is legal or not I don't know. If there isn'[t a formal Codes of Conduct for individuals involved in such such services insisting on a "hands off" relationship with the third parties with whom they deal (especially in a bereavement situation) then there ought to be. It's akin to a solicitor who is dealing with somebody's Will making an offer for some of the assets and I think it's totally unacceptable. If I was the widow involved in this case I would make a formal complaint to the governing body concerned. It's unacceptable that somebody should be taking advantage of somebody in a vulnerable position who is a client in any sense of the word, and very unprofessional.
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Thank you so much, WendyS, your reply is a great help. I was shocked to say the least when I heard what happened, she is an elderly lady and as you say, in a vulnerable position. I will encourage her to make a formal complaint. Thank you once again!
I believe that reputable Estate Agents have a code of ethics which prevent their employees from making a offer on any property which their business is handling for a client, so I'm sure if this is a reputable organisation, there should be a similar code. Who was offering the probate service. Was it a bank or a solicitor?

Take the banks prodate services. There is a fee. But it means everything is fair and no falling out is done

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