enquiries@h-w.co.uk 01843 863479

 

Probate

Our Estate Administration fees for Uncontested Estates where all assets are in the UK. 

Personal representatives have the obligation of administering the estate properly. These duty comprises establishing the extent of the estate, paying any debts and taxes and distributing the balance to the beneficiaries under the Will or according to the Intestacy Rules. 

The steps to be addressed in administering an estate include:

1. Obtaining up to date valuations of the estate assets and liabilities with a view to calculating the gross and net estate for probate and taxation purposes.
2. Preparing the application for a Grant of Representation (whether for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration), being the official legal document giving the personal representatives authority to deal with the estate.
3. Placing Trustee Act 1925 advertisements for any claims to the estate in order to protect the personal representatives against personal liability from any unknown claimants, should youdecide to instruct us to do so.
4. Sending copies of the Grant of Representation to all organisations holding any money and/or property with a view to liquidising and/or transferring those assets in accordance with the Personal Representative’s instructions.
5. We recommend that estate funds are paid into this firm’sclient account as it will then be subject to the protection of the Law Society’s Rules regarding Solicitors handling of client money. 
6. Finalising the tax position of the estate, negotiating with HM Revenue & Customs as to the value of any assets requiring clarification and obtaining clearance that no further tax is due.
7. The final stages of the administration of the Estate includescompleting the Estate Accounts for approval, paying out the remaining legacies to the beneficiaries and obtaining any required formal receipts.

We shall seek to obtain a Grant of Representation within three to four months, subject to the requirements of the Probate Registry and HM Revenue & Customs. We aim to complete the administration of an average and uncomplicated Estate within the Executor’s Year, but this may be completed sooner, with the more straightforward Estates being completed within approximately six months. Collecting in the assets of the Estate should take a further three to four weeks (this estimate will be longer for the sale of any shareholdings), after which any debts are settled and the net assets distributed (upon approval of the Estate Accounts by the Personal Representatives) to the beneficiaries, which may take a further three to four weeks.   

Our charges to provide the full estate administration service (to include the above steps) depend on the size of the estate, as this reflects the level of financial responsibility falling on our firm, and the time taken.

In terms of the size of the estate, the following percentages are generally applicable:

½% (¾%where the partners of this firm are appointed as Executors) on the value of the deceased’s residential property; and 1% (1½% where the partners of this firm are appointed as Executors) on all other assets of the estate.

There may also be a time element for addressing the above the hourly charging rate for which will be £200 plus VAT, and we estimate that the administration of the average estate will take between ten to twenty hours’ work at this rate. The total fees generally amount to between 1.5% to 1.75% of the gross value of the estate, although should an hourly rate for all work be preferable, this may be agreed upon instruction.

The hourly charging rate referred to above is for all work carried out by or under the supervision of Jonathan Skilbeck, a solicitor and partner of the firm.

The above costs do not include any aspect of dealing with any residential or commercial property falling within the Estate, and such costs will need to be addressed separately by our conveyancing solicitors. 

Alternatively, we may be able to offer a fixed fee of between £3,000 to £5,000 plus VAT, depending upon the nature of the assets and liabilities of the Estate and which will address the steps referred to above, being:

• To provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter;
• To identifying the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries;
• To accurately identifying the type of Probate application that you will require;
• To obtain the relevant documents required to make thatapplication;
• To completing and submitting the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms;
• To obtaining the Grant of Representation and sendingcopies to you; and to
• Collecting and distribute all assets and paying the debts in the Estate.

Disbursements (additional fees paid by us to other parties upon your behalf as Personal Representative) are also payable. These include:

Probate application fee: £155 in addition to £1.50 for each copy of the Grant ordered at the same time.

Statutory Notices fee: approximately £200 plus VAT.

 

Residential Conveyancing Prices

We conduct most of our residential conveyancing sales, purchases and remortgages on a fixed fee basis as set out below. This will mean that the fee you are given in our quote will, in most cases, be the fee you pay. 

If your property is particularly complicated we will provide a bespoke quote when we have been able to evaluate the work involved. Examples of this may be rural property, new build property, unregistered property and shared ownership property. Please contact us directly to discuss these. 

The way costs for conveyancing works are that you pay legal fees and separately you must pay for disbursements. Disbursements are the additional costs for buying searches, land registry fees for registering the change to the property title, conducting checks on behalf of your mortgage lender, bank fees for sending money etc. 

All the prices outlined below do not attract additional VAT unless stated. 

Legal fees for Freehold sale and purchase.

Property value up to £350,000 ​​​​£995 plus VAT

Properties valued between £350,000 and £450,000​£1,200 plus VAT

Properties valued between £450,000 and £750,000​£1,500 plus VAT

Properties over £750,000 will be provided a bespoke quote based on the value and complexity of the property.

In addition to this we make a bank transfer and administration fee of £30 plus VAT per electronic transfer we make on your behalf. 

These fees will generally include:

• Taking your instructions
• Providing initial advice
• Providing or receiving contract papers from the solicitors acting for the other party
• Raising and dealing with enquiries
• Ordering and processing searches with our provider
• Dealing with the requirements of your mortgage lender
• Providing a report on contract to you outlining the results of our investigation into the property
• Arranging completion dates 
• Processing exchange and completion and subsequent registration

On rare occasions during the sale or purchase process it may become apparent that there is an unforeseen issue with the property. For example, a negative search result such as contaminated land or an issue with the access to the property. Where these issues arise, we will advise you at an early stage and provide you with detail of any additional costs, if any. 

Leasehold sales and purchases (These transactions are considerably more complicated and we may not have capacity to accept instructions)

Property value up to £350,000 ​​​​£1,500 plus VAT

Properties valued between £350,000 and £450,000​£1,700 plus VAT

Properties valued between £450,000 and £750,000​£2,000 plus VAT

Properties over £750,000 will be provided a bespoke quote based on the value and complexity of the property.

In addition to this we make a bank transfer and administration fee of £30 plus VAT per electronic transfer we make on your behalf. 

We will cover the same work as for freeholds, and deal with the additional requirements of leasehold registrations with the freeholder. These mean you should expect additional costs on a purchase which may include:-

• service of notice of transfer and charge, 
• deeds of covenant, 
• licenses to assign, 
• obtaining a certificate of compliance for restrictions on the title, 
• fees for joining the management company etc. 
• If you are selling you will also have to obtain a management pack from the managing agents and or the freeholder. 

The fees for these vary hugely and we cannot tell you how much they will be until we have read the lease and received the management pack. You should budget between £200-£500 for these.

These will be unavoidable costs that you will incur whichever solicitor you choose as they are fixed by the landlord/managing agents. 

Remortgages

Our standard legal fee in most circumstances for a remortgage is £650 plus VAT. In addition to this we make a bank transfer and administration fee of £30 plus VAT per electronic transfer we make on your behalf. Where this varies is when the value of your property is very high or when the mortgage lender employs third party solicitors as well. This invariably leads to a more complicated transaction as the third-party solicitor will have additional requirements. Once we have received their requirements, we will be able to advise on additional, if any, fees that will be involved. Remortgages are often carried out without searches and with a no search indemnity policy instead. These generally cost between £20 and £30. Some lenders do not allow these and once we have received their instructions, we will be able to advise you if there any additional disbursements that their offer requires us to take out on your behalf. 

Disbursements 

Disbursements, or third-party costs, vary on a case by case basis but ones that you will commonly incur on a purchase will be:

• Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is dependent on the value of the property you are buying and other circumstances. Please see the HMRC website for a calculator to determine the likely cost in your transaction.
• Searches (local authority, water and environmental) together with SDLT submission and land registry application through our portal, approximately £199
• AML checks £7.20 per person
• Obtaining documents from Land registry £3.90 each
• Priority search at land registry £3.90
• Bankruptcy search if required £2.90 per name
• Registration at the land registry is dependent on the value of the property and generally costs between £40 and £270

It may also be necessary to purchase indemnity insurance if during the process a defect becomes apparent, for example if there are insufficient rights of access for the property. These costs vary and are set by the insurers. We will let you know the prices they are asking as and when this becomes apparent. 

Depending on the type of property you are purchasing you may wish to carry out additional searches. These may include highways, hedgerows, mining, planning, detailed flooding, utilities etc. These prices do vary and we will only charge you what they cost from our provider.

Timescales

It is generally considered that a transaction will take 2-3 months for a freehold property. If a property is vacant and you are buying without a mortgage, it may be possible to achieve a quicker timescale. However, when you are buying or selling a leasehold property or are involved in a long chain it can take considerably longer. It is always our intention to put you in the position that we are legally ready as soon as possible so that it will not be us/you that holds up the chain. 

Conduct of your matter

Your transactions will be looked after by one of the memberof our property team. This will be an experienced solicitor specialising in property law. 

During the course of your transaction you may also communicate with trainee solicitors or legal executives who assist our property solicitors and specialist conveyancing secretaries. You will be provided details of the fee earner with conduct and their supervisor at the outset in our retainer letter.

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