Our Fees - Wills

Almost all of the Wills we prepare are charged for on a fixed fee basis. Our fee structure is as follows:-

  • Single Will (for one individual): £225.00 plus VAT
  • Double Wills (for a couple, married or otherwise): £350.00 plus VAT

Please note that the above prices are inclusive of some basic tax advice and can include simple will trusts, where required. More complicated Wills, especially ones with complicated trusts, can take longer to produce and where this is the case, an additional fee will apply. This extra time will be charged in accordance with our hourly rate. Please see our terms and conditions. The amount of this extra charge would be set out in the first interview.

If it is necessary to travel to your home or hospital to take instructions and/or execute your Will, then we reserve the right to charge for our travelling time. This will ordinarily be calculated in accordance with our hourly rate. However, we frequently waive this charge, if the address is close to our office.

Disbursements:

If it is necessary to obtain a copy of the Land Registry of your property in order to enable us to advise you or prepare your Will, then this cost will be added to your invoice. It is ordinarily no less than £3.00 or more than £9.00 per property.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney consist of either or both a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare and a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs.

Taking account of how much time it takes to prepare and complete a Lasting Power of Attorney and the registration forms, gives rise to the following fees:

  • Per person: £350.00 for a single LPA and £450.00 for both LPAs plus VAT
  • Per couple: £500.00 for any two LPAs and £750.00 for four LPAs plus VAT

If you complete the forms yourself and our involvement is limited to acting as certificate provider and registering the forms with the Office of Public Guardian, then our fees are as follows:-

  • Per person: £250.00 for a single LPA and £300.00 for both LPAs plus VAT
  • Per couple: £350.00 for any two LPAs and £400.00 for four LPAs plus VAT

If you are able to fill in the LPA forms and register them yourself you will require a certificate provider and we are willing to act as professional certificate provider if you wish, which we will charge for as follows:

  • Per person: £125.00 for a single LPA and £150.00 for both LPAs (plus VAT)
  • Per couple: £175.00 for any two LPAs and £225.00 for four LPAs (plus VAT)

Disbursements:

Court registration fee of £82.00 for each Lasting Power of Attorney

Conveyancing

Our fees on domestic sales and purchases are always the subject of an estimate in respect of our fees, and an estimate of disbursements but which will vary from case to case

Our fees are unlikely to be less than £750 plus vat for a simple sale or purchase at low value to £5000 plus vat for a more complicated property at much higher value.

We ask for £400 for searches on each purchase which is usually enough to cover the Local Land Charge Search, Water Search, Environmental Search and Chancel Search. These do vary from area to area and will be different in each case.

Land Registry fees depend on value and apply only to purchases. These vary between £190 and £540, depending on value and whether or not the registration can be affected electronically. Again higher value properties may attract higher fees.  The Land Registry publish these which are available on their website http://landregistry.data.gov.uk/fees-calculator.html

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), only applies to purchases and varies according to value, whether the purchase is your only property, whether you are a first-time buyer and many other factors. The government calculator can be found at:- https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro

Re-mortgages, equity release and other smaller transactions will be charged at a lesser value than the above and can be discussed in each case.

Commercial conveyancing is impossible to estimate and will usually be charged at an agreed hourly rate (see our terms and conditions).

Although our individually prepared estimate will deal with this, the following are disbursements which are likely to occur.

  1. Local search, water search and environmental search: approximately £220 plus VAT for all of them.
  2. Land Registry fees as per the published scale which depends on price.
  3. Bankruptcy fee: £2 per name.
  4. Land Registry search at £2 per Title number.
  5. Stamp Duty Land Tax (on purchase only) at the published scale at the HM RC website.
  6. Fees for registering your interest where the purchase is Leasehold (and sometimes on Freehold matters), registration of Deed of Covenant (if required) and removal of restrictions.  These all vary dramatically, and we cannot know them until we are instructed to have received the papers.  As a guide these will likely to be in total between £100 and £500.
  7. On the sale of Leasehold properties there may be a management pack required, this could be anything between £100 and £500. You are advised to ask the management company before you find a buyer and perhaps obtain the pack yourself to save time (this is a regular culprit for holding the matter up). Please remember that these packs are also time sensitive so buying them too far ahead could result in you having to buy them again.
  8. Please remember ground rent and service charges will also be payable as part of the purchase price on an apportioned basis.

Our services include:

On a Purchase:

  1. Obtaining the papers from the other side.
  2. Corresponding with you, the agent and the other side.
  3. Inspecting the Title, the answers to the queries raised and supplied and perusing searches.
  4. Raising questions on those matters which arise from the inspection above (requesting and dealing with your mortgage offer) (assuming that we are also instructed by the lender).
  5. Reporting to you.
  6. Exchange and Completion.
  7. Registering your interest at the Land Registry and preparing SDLT form.
  8. Accounting to you.
  9. (Please note we do not charge any extra for preparing SDLT forms)

On a Sale:

  1. Obtaining details from you.
  2. Preparing and sending out a Contract and standard enquiry forms.
  3. Corresponding with you, the agent and the other side.
  4. Answering enquiries received in conjunction with you.
  5. Exchanging Contracts and completing.
  6. Mortgage.
  7. Accounting to you.

Timing:

Timing of these matters varies enormously.  An easy purchase with no mortgage could be less than a month.  An easy sale to a buyer not requiring a mortgage could be the same.

A sale and purchase takes longer, because there are more people in a chain who need to be satisfied and ready to go.

It is rare for the whole process to be more than three months, otherwise than in unusual circumstances.

You could reasonably expect that your transaction even if linked with others would be completed between one month and three months of first instruction.

Probate

We are very flexible when it comes to the level of our involvement in administering an estate. We can provide simple guidance, just apply for the Grant, or conduct the full administration, depending on your instructions.

If we are not appointed as the Executor(s), then we can provide the Personal Representative(s) with guidance on the process and forms which need to be completed. Our fees will be based on our hourly rate, as detailed in our terms and conditions.

Some Personal Representatives are happy to gather in all of information and figures needed to complete the Inheritance Tax forms, which is needed in order to apply for the Grant and only need us to complete the forms and apply for the Grant. The level of our fees will depend on the complexity of the estate, the type of Inheritance Tax form which needs to be completed and whether Inheritance Tax is payable, or not.

Where we are able to complete the IHT205 form, which is generally speaking when Inheritance Tax is not payable, then our fees are based on our hourly rates, as detailed in our terms and conditions and we would expect our fees to be in the region of £750 to £1,500 plus VAT.

Where an estate requires the completion of an IHT400, which is the lengthier of the two forms, our fees are based on our hourly rates, as detailed in our terms and conditions and we would expect our fees to be in the region of £2,500 to £3,500 plus VAT.

These figures assume that all the necessary information has already been obtained to enable us to complete the Inheritance Tax form. This does not include any post-Grant work, nor the gathering in of assets.

Where we are instructed on a “Grant-Only” basis, we would expect our clients to gather in all the necessary information to complete the Inheritance Tax form on behalf of the estate. Our involvement is limited to completing the necessary Inheritance Tax form(s), arranging for the Inheritance Tax to be paid (if applicable) and completing any other forms or procedures to apply for the Grant of Probate. It would not, ordinarily, include writing to the financial institutes to gather in the date of death information, the closure of any accounts, the distribution of assets, the preparation of Estate Accounts, or otherwise.

Where we are dealing with the full administration, then our charge will normally be 0.5% of the gross estate less any residence, together with 0.75% of the residence value, in addition to our hourly rates. This is to reflect our responsibility of correctly valuing and disclosing the asset’s existence to HM Revenue & Customs, as well as gathering in all of the assets, ensuring sufficient insurance is in place and distributing the estate amongst the beneficiaries.

If we are the Executors, there is normally an extra charge for that responsibility (not more than 1% of the gross estate).

As every estate is different, it is almost impossible to accurately guess what our fees are likely to be. The initial consultation should provide us with enough information to give an initial estimate.

A good guidance is that straightforward cases are not likely to cost, overall, less than 2% nor more than 3% of the gross estate including all the percentages referred to above. However, particularly large valued or complicated estates clearly will not fit this model and would need to be assessed on a case by case basis.

Where we are instructed on a “Full Administration” basis, we would write to the various companies to ascertain the necessary information to complete the Inheritance Tax form(s) on behalf of the estate, we would complete any further forms or procedures needed to apply for the Grant of Probate, but we would also deal with the gathering in of assets, the payment of any legacies, the preparation of Estate Accounts and the distribution to the beneficiaries. We do not, ordinarily, deal with income tax affairs internally, preferring instead to instruct an accountant for this purpose.

Timescales

As with most matters, it is almost impossible to provide any kind of realistic timeframe, as every estate is different. Much depends on the complexity of the estate, its composition, the number of third parties who need contacting, whether Inheritance Tax is payable, the type of Inheritance Tax form completed and the speed in which the Probate Registry issues the Grant of Probate. A great deal of the administration process relies heavily on third parties dealing with correspondence and queries in a timely manner.

On “Grant-Only” matters, we would reasonably expect to be in a position to apply for the Grant of Probate within 3-6 months of being instructed, depending on the speed in which we are provided with the information which you obtain and assuming that there are no outstanding queries. Easier estates are, generally, processed quicker, as there is less details/work required and we would ordinarily expect to apply for the Grant of Probate within 2-3 months of being instructed. We would not, ordinarily, exceed the 6-month deadline, particularly if Inheritance Tax is payable, unless in exceptional cases.

On “Full-Administration” matters, we would expect most estates to be wound up within 12 months of being instructed. However, there are many factors which need to be borne in mind such as, but not limited to, the length of time it takes for the property to sell, if a Tax Return is required to declare the post-death gross income, the size, complexity and composition of the estate,  the number of beneficiaries and whether all have been located, etc. Some exceptional estates can take a couple of years to finalise, but there is ordinarily a good justification as to why this would be the case.