Belfast Telegraph

A kind gesture, or should I pay?

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

My husband died last year after a heart attack. I went to pieces, but with the support of some wonderful friends, I’ve begun to adjust to a different kind of life on my own.

One of my oldest friends is an accountant and she’s been helping me sort things out in all kinds of ways. She’s not asked for any money from me for all the work she’s done, but I’m sure I must owe her a lot.

I am embarrassed by this as I wasn’t in a position to do anything for myself until she’d already done a huge amount.

How do I go about asking her whether she expects me to pay now she’s gone so far down the road? PO

FIONA SAYS: THANK HER, THEN ASK WHAT YOU OWE

I can see your dilemma. Any professional is entitled to payment for their services, so I think the simplest thing to do is just to ask her what you owe her.

Thank her for what she's done and say you realise that she's done a lot of work on your behalf.

I wouldn't be embarrassed by this and as she's a professional, I'm sure she'll recognise and appreciate your offer to formalise things with her.

She may say she'll work out a bill for you, or she may say she's happy to do it for nothing. You will then know where you stand.

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