Price and Service notice – Administration of Estates

December 2020

Legal costs

There are two main elements to the legal costs associated with winding up an uncontested deceased’s estate which will normally include obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration, paying liabilities, reporting to HMRC on tax and distributing the estate:

  • our charges;
  • expenses we must pay out of your behalf

Our charges

Our hourly rates for estate administration are:

  Fee Earner Hourly Rate
  Solicitor-Advocate (Advocacy & Preparation therefor) £240 – 260
  Partner (Member)

Senior Solicitors with over 15 years’ experience

£240

£240

 Solicitors, members of CILEX and other fee earners with over 8 years’ experience £230
  Solicitors and members of CILEX

Other fee earners with over 4 years’ experience

£230

£210

  Clerks & Trainee Solicitors £130
  Support Staff £110

Costs will depend on the size and complexity of the estate and whether Inheritance Tax is chargeable. On average a non-tax paying estate takes 10 to 15 hours to complete. This means that on average our charges will be £2,400 to £3,600 +VAT. On average a tax paying estate takes 20 to 50 hours to complete. This means that on average our charges will be £4,800 to £12,000 +VAT. We will provide you with an engagement letter once instructed, with an estimate of our charges for your specific case.

The exact number of hours it will take depends on the circumstances of your case, such as:

  • The number of client meetings, volume of correspondence and telephone calls
  • Is there a valid will;
  • The size and nature of the estate;
  • Whether there is a foreign element;
  • Taxation issues;
  • Number and location of beneficiaries;
  • Debts and liabilities;
  • Freehold/Leasehold Property considerations;
  • Trusts

If  there is a valid will, no inheritance tax to pay and the estate does not include any shareholdings, our charges are likely to be at the lower end of this range. Please note that additional amounts may be payable for our charges and/or expenses if for example there is no will, the assets or tax situation are complex or distribution of the estate is contested.

We reserve the right to increase the hourly rates if the work done is particularly complex or urgent, or the nature of your instructions require us to work outside normal office hours. If this happens, we will notify you in advance and agree an appropriate rate.

We will review our hourly rates on a periodic basis. This is usually done each January. We will give you advance notice of any change to our hourly rates.

Our charges do not include VAT, which we will add to your bill at the prevailing rate.

Expenses

We would usually expect to incur certain expenses on your behalf which we will also add to your bill. The amount of expenses can vary and the following is an estimate only:

Expense Estimated amount VAT chargeable
Probate fees £155 (upward variation pending) no
Copies of Grant of Probate (each) £0.50 no
Statutory notice in London Gazette & local paper £175 approx. yes
Law Systems Probate Plus £100 yes

Likely timescale and key stages

Administration of estates usually take 6 to 9 months from receiving your instructions to distribution. This is on the basis that there is a valid will, there is no inheritance tax to pay and the estate does not include any shareholdings. If there are additional issues as detailed above the administration will take longer. We will advise you if and when this occurs.

Most matters of this nature involve the following key stages:

  • Gathering information – 4 to 6 weeks;
  • Preparation of papers for submission to the court 2 to 3 weeks;
  • Dealing with post grant issues including transfer or sale of assets, collection of cash assets and payment of liabilities 12 to 26 weeks (longer if tax paying estate) ;
  • Distribution to beneficiaries (after tax clearance if tax paying estate) 2 to 4 weeks.

The ‘Estimated total legal costs’ specifically do not include:

  • the sale or transfer of any property forming part of the estate;
  • providing tax advice or dealing with HMRC enquiries about inheritance tax;
  • providing accountancy advice;
  • providing advice on the validity of a will.

Our Terms and Conditions set out details of our complaints procedure.

 

Lasting Powers of Attorney

December 2020

Lasting Power of Attorney for Financial Decisions (LPAFD)

Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Care Decisions (LPAHC)

The charge for the preparation and dealing with the execution and registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney is as follows:

Single Adult either LPAFD or LPAHC – £500 + VAT + court fee £82

Single Adult LPAFD and LPAHC – £600 + VAT + court fees £164

A couple LPAFD and LPAHC – £800 + VAT + court fees £328

Our Terms and Conditions set out details of our complaints procedure.

 

Wills

December 2020

Single Adult – standard Will – from £300 + VAT

A couple – standard mirror Wills – from £400 + VAT

A couple – standard mirror Wills with trust provisions – from £500 + VAT

Arranging for the severance of a joint tenancy – £75 + VAT

Our Terms and Conditions set out details of our complaints procedure.

 


Price and service notice – Residential Property

December 2020

Our charges

We will provide you with a clear and accurate estimate of our charges in writing on application.

We aim to provide complete transparency in respect of the fees we charge.

Please note that an increase may be applied if the number of client meetings, volume of correspondence and telephone calls are excessive.

As a guide only our range of charges for the sale and purchase of standard properties which are registered at the Land Registry, are not listed buildings, have no apparent complex issues and which reflect the risk to the firm, are as follows:

Price of Property Freehold Sale Freehold Purchase Leasehold Sale Leasehold Purchase
£0 – £150,000 £710 – £810 £810 – £910 £830 – £930 £875 – £975
£150,001 –  £200,000 £730 – £830 £830 – £930 £900 – £1000 £930 – £1030
£200,001 – £250,000 £810 – £910 £875 – £975 £925 – £1025 £950 – £1050
£250,001 – £300,000 £830 – £930 £900 – £1000 £950 – £1050 £1000 – £1100
£300,001 – £350,000 £925 – £1025 £1025 – £1150 £1050 – £1150 £1150 – £1250
£350,001 – £400,000 £975 – £1075 £1075 – £1175 £1175 – £1275 £1275 – £1375
£400,001               – £450,000  £1150 – £1250 £1225 – £1325 £1195 – 1295 £1300 – £1400
£450,001 – £500,000 £1200 – £1300 £1350 – £1450 £1225 – £1325 £1450 – £1550
£500,001 – £550,000 £1300 – £1400 £1500 – £1600 £1300 – £1400 £1600 – £1700
£550,001 – £600,000 £1350 – £1450 £1550 – £1650 £1375 – £1475 £1700 – £1800
£600,001 – £650,000 £1400 – £1500 £1600 – £1700 £1400 – £1500 £1800 – £1900
£650,001 – £700,000 £1450 – £1550 £1650 – £1750 £1500 – £1600 £1900 – £2000
£700,000 –  Our fee will normally be no less than 0.25% of the sale price. Please ask for an estimate in writing as our estimate will depend on the nature and complexity of the transaction Our fee will normally be no less than 0.25% of the sale price. Please ask for an estimate in writing as our estimate will depend on the nature and complexity of the transaction  

 

Transfer of Equity
Mortgage secured against the Property No Mortgage secured against the Property
Freehold Leasehold Freehold Leasehold
£650 £750 £450 £550

 

Re-Mortgage
Freehold Leasehold
£495 £595

 

Transfer of Equity and Re-Mortgage
Mortgage secured against the Property No Mortgage secured against the Property
Freehold Leasehold Freehold Leasehold
POA but from £650 POA but from £750 POA but from £450 POA but from £550

 

If a matter or transaction does not reach a conclusion, we reserve the right to charge for the work done, using our normal charging basis as follows:

Our hourly rates are:

  Fee Earner Hourly Rate 
  Solicitor-Advocate (Advocacy & Preparation therefor) £240 – 260
  Partner (Member)

  Senior Solicitors with over 15 years’ experience

£240

£240

 Solicitors, members of CILEX and other fee earners with over 8 years’ experience £230
  Solicitors and members of CILEX 

  Other fee earners with over 4 years’ experience 

£230

£210

  Clerks & Trainee Solicitors £130
  Support Staff £110

 

 This applies even where an estimate has been agreed for the whole matter.

Our charges do not include VAT, which we will add to your bill at the prevailing rate.

 

Expenses

Even where we have provided an estimate of our charges, we would usually expect to incur certain expenses on your behalf which we will also add to your bill. The amount of expenses can vary and the following is an estimate only:

Sale
Expense Estimated amount VAT chargeable
Land Registry fees £3 – £20 no
Freeholder/Management Company fee £350+ yes 
Indemnity Insurance premium for such things as defective title, missing building regulation documents Premium will depend on risk

 

Purchase
Expense Estimated amount VAT Chargeable
Search pack £300 approx. yes
Land Registry and Bankruptcy searches £10 approx. no
Land Registration fee This varies according to value – see the land Registry’s online calculator at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fees-hm-land-registry-guides 
Stamp Duty Land Tax This varies according to value and status – see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/stamp-duty-land-tax-calculator-service-availability-and-issues/stamp-duty-land-tax-calculator-service-availability-and-issues 
Notification of transfer to 3rd party £50 – £250 yes
Deed of Covenant or certificate of compliance £150 – £350 yes

 

Additional costs

The ‘Estimated total legal costs’ shown above assumes that the property to be sold is registered at the Land Registry with no unusual related issues. Additional amounts may be payable for our charges and/or expenses and some examples are as follows:

Issue Cost
Dealing with unregistered land From £150 + VAT calculated on our hourly rate
New Build From £300 + VAT
Arranging Indemnity Insurance £75 + VAT for each policy
Purchase in the name of a limited company From £100 + VAT + Companies House fees
Help to Buy – additional documentation From £350 + VAT
Property subject to a tenancy From £150 + VAT
Property with solar panels From £250 + VAT
Property with septic tank drainage From £75 + VAT
Lender with separate solicitor or dealing with more than one lender From £100 + VAT
Use of Help to Buy ISA From £75 + VAT
Help to Buy Equity Loan or Shared Ownership From £350 + VAT
Declaration of Trust to reflect contribution of each party From £250 + VAT
Gifted deposit – source of funds check From £50 + VAT
Transfer of Part of Registered Title From £100 + VAT
Statutory Declaration/Statement of Truth From £75 + VAT

Likely timescale and key stages

Completion of property transactions are often dependent on matters beyond our control. For example, a purchase may depend on the issue of a mortgage offer from a lender or the seller’s related purchase. You will be advised of any likely delay by us, your mortgage broker or estate agent. 

Our Terms and Conditions set out details of our complaints procedure.

 


Price and service notice – Family

December 2020

Our charges

We will provide you with a clear and accurate estimate of our charges in writing on application.

We aim to provide complete transparency in respect of the fees we charge.

Our charges are based on the time we spend dealing with a matter unless a fixed fee or other funding arrangements are agreed.  Time spent will include meetings with you and, where appropriate and necessary, with others; any time spent travelling; drafting documents; considering papers, letters and emails received and preparing for meetings, and where appropriate, attending court on your behalf.  We also charge for drafting and sending letters and emails and making and receiving telephone calls. In addition to the time spent, we may take into account a number of factors, which include the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action must be taken, the expertise or specialist knowledge that the case requires and where appropriate the value of the property or subject matter involved. The value element reflects the importance of the transaction to you and the consequent responsibility falling on this Firm. 

The hourly rates are reviewed from time to time.  The current private client rates are set below: –

  Fee Earner Hourly Rate 
  Solicitor-Advocate (Advocacy & Preparation therefor) £240 – 260
  Partner (Member)

  Senior Solicitors with over 15 years’ experience

£240

£240

  Solicitors, members of CILEX and other fee earners with over 8 years’ experience £230
  Solicitors and members of CILEX 

  Other fee earners with over 4 years’ experience 

£230

£210

  Clerks & Trainee Solicitors £130
  Support Staff £110

Qualifying service personnel may be eligible for a discount of up to 10%

VAT at the current rate will be added

 

Specific Family matters

Cohabitation

Cohabitees are encouraged to enter into a cohabitation agreement. The hourly rates set out above are applied. The likely cost to be incurred from instruction to completed agreement is between £1,000 and £1,500 + VAT

 

Pre-nuptial and Post-nuptial agreements

Pre-nuptial agreements and to a lesser extent Post-nuptial agreements have become more common in recent years. They are particularly relevant where the parties to a marriage have very different accumulated assets or inheritance expectations or they intend to marry for a second time having children from their first marriage. The likely cost to be incurred from instruction to completed agreement is between £1,000 and £2,500 + VAT depending on the financial issues which need to be addressed.

 

Divorce/Terminating a Civil Partnership

Clients are encouraged to deal  with their own petitions by filing online at https://www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorce

Middletons Family Team will provide help and advice if asked. The hourly rate referred to above will be applied.

The court fee payable is currently £550.

 

Financial Remedies on Divorce/Termination of a Civil Partnership

The hourly rates referred to above will be applied in each case.

The average cost for advice, negotiation and agreeing the terms of a financial remedy order by consent is 12 – 15 hours work – £3000 to £3750 + VAT

More complex cases or cases where agreement cannot be reached will cost more, depending on the stage reached at court.

Court fees for a financial remedy claim are £255.

A common budget for cases which reach the First appointment at court and settle, is £6,250 + VAT (25 hours). For cases which reach a Financial Resolution Appointment and settle, a common budget is £10,000 + VAT (40 hours). If a case progresses to a final hearing the cost can vary substantially and can be as much as £30 – 40,000 + VAT. Clients are kept informed of budget changes and they are encouraged to talk, negotiate and settle rather than litigate.

 

Private Children issues

The hourly rates referred to above will be applied in each case.

Court proceedings for a Child Arrangement Order can be costly and clients should be made aware of this at the outset. Clients are encouraged to talk, negotiate and settle rather than litigate.

The court fee is currently £215.

Typically, a case which requires advice, preparation of court papers and attendance at court with settlement at the first directions hearing at court will incur costs of £6,250 + VAT (25 hours).

Cases involving children often require a number of court appearances, preparation of reports, statements and other court documents and costs can easily reach £12,500 + VAT (50 hours) but more commonly costs involve about 25 hours work – £6250 + VAT.

 

Family Mediation

Middletons has two Accredited Family Mediators who mediate with Mediation Wiltshire and West Limited, one of whom is qualified to mediate with lawyers present (hybrid mediation)

Mediation is charged at £250 an hour divided equally between the parties. There is no VAT on these fees. An individual Mediation information meeting (MIAM) is charged at £100 for each person. Mediation is subject to the parties signing an agreement to mediate.

A typical all issues mediation (both children and financial issues) will take between 3 and 5 sessions of no more that 1.5 hours each. Preparation time is usually 3 to 5 hours. Accordingly, the typical cost ranges between £1,875 and £3,750.

Participants in the mediation process are advised to take their own solicitor’s advice during the process and when they have reached a resolution which will have a separate cost.

 

Our Terms and Conditions set out details of our complaints procedure.

 

Employment Advice and Assistance.

Our Charges:

  • This work is charged at our published hourly rates.
  • It is often possible to agree a fixed or capped fee for limited aspects or stages of the work, where appropriate.

Occasionally it may be possible to undertake the work under a “no win no fee” arrangement. For further information contact Chris Jolly at our Warminster office – 01985 214444

 

 

Solicitors in Warminster and Westbury, Wiltshire and Andover and Stockbridge, Hampshire

Karen Seymour
Practice Director

Please Contact
kseymour@middletonssolicitors.co.uk

01985 214444

Middletons Solicitors have a reputation for excellence with offices based in Warminster, Andover and Stockbridge. With more than 50 years’ experience delivering comprehensive legal services, our team of legal experts provides the highest standard of advice and service.

NEW OFFICE IN AMESBURY NOW OPEN!

CONTACT US ON 01980 883 100 FOR ALL YOUR LEGAL REQUIREMENTS.

Speak to one of the team by calling our

Warminster Office: 01985 214444
Andover Office: 01264 333 336
Stockbridge Office: 01264 810 910
Amesbury Office: 01980 883 100

or email enquiries@middletonssolicitors.co.uk or Make an enquiry

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