The complete turnaround tale
A complex case, riddled with possible conflicts was enough reason for lawyer Niamh McMahon to engage Public Trust’s Executor Assist service. At the time she was both sole trustee and executor in the estate which had the potential to go badly.
Being able to work with the technically experienced Executor Assist team who understood the intricacies of estate law “worked a treat”. Niamh considers them peers “it wasn’t a question of bringing someone up to speed. You could talk the talk together and work through what the issues were from a very sound knowledge base”.
“Law firms are not geared up to do this work operationally. How our hourly rates work doesn’t lend itself to doing it and to be honest, I don’t think we’ve got the skills either,” says Niamh, who is also the Honorary Consul General for Ireland.
Another valuable draw card was having the estates accounts professionally managed, with tax returns processed and financial reporting provided for family members. The brief wasn’t easy and involved different beneficiaries with different entitlements, with and without interest rates, for loans made during the lifetime of the deceased.
Access to Public Trust’s financial modelling templates was another attraction, along with fair billing rates commensurate with the job. This, compared to a lawyer on a high charge-out rate trying to do work that didn’t deserve to be invoiced at that hourly fee made using Public Trust very cost effective.
“What we were able to do was buy the expertise of Public Trust and have confidence in its system so that the numbers produced in the end were bulletproof.”
Niamh admits going through that exercise herself would’ve taken far longer and been more expensive for the beneficiaries. “I’m sure I would’ve been criticised if I’d gone down that path whereas this was far more cost effective.”
During this difficult case Niamh found the Executor Assist team were both communicative and accessible. “When problems occurred, someone was always available on the end of the phone. Public Trust really comes into its own in cases that are a bit more complicated that need an extra layer of assistance.”
While straight forward estate cases will remain with Niamh’s firm, the complicated ones are now handed to Public Trust for assistance. “Everybody is a winner because it’s more of a partnership and we’re working together as a team.”
Niamh admits her initial approach had been made with a little fear and trepidation, she’d been tarnished by being in practice during a time when Public Trust didn’t enjoy the reputation she says they now deserve.
“Back in the old days there was a lot of criticism that it was an old government department on glide time – whenever you rang it was a different person you spoke too.”
But, after using Public Trust over a number of years, Niamh’s completely changed her view. “My expectations were low and they were exceeded – mightily exceeded.
While a lot of people have criticised Public Trust, I’ve stood up for them – and I want to make that point” she says.