Fees for Conveyancing, Probate and Debt recovery



Fee Rates

Time charges

All work done by any member of our staff will be charged on a time basis, unless a fixed fee or a different hourly rate has been agreed (fixed fees are usually only for conveyancing work).

If a fixed fee has not been agreed (this is often the case for conveyancing) the hourly rates are as follows:
Senior Partner (over 8 years PQE) £260.00 per hour plus VAT (20%)
Junior Partner (less than 8 years PQE) £210.00 per hour plus VAT (20%)
Assistant Solicitor £195.00 per hour plus VAT (20%)
Trainee Solicitor/Paralegal £130.00 per hour plus VAT (20%)
All other members of staff £30.00 per hour plus VAT (20%)

We will try as far as possible to give you an estimate of the likely cost of any matter. An estimate is not binding, but if we are likely to exceed the estimate significantly, we will let you know as early as possible.


Conveyancing

Residential Conveyancing

An indication of what may affect the level of fees involved include the following:
   • The value of the property in question
   • Whether the transaction is a sale, purchase or re-mortgage
   • Whether the property in question is leasehold or freehold
   • The nature of the mortgage or other funding method
   • The urgency of the matter and whether or not there is another transaction with which it must coincide
   • Whether the property is a listed building, in a conservation area or subject to other planning obligations requiring specific action or investigation
   • Where a freehold property, if the property is part of a managed estate
   • Whether title to the property is defective and remedial action required
   • Whether or not the property is registered at the Land Registry, and if so in more than one registered title. If the transaction consists of the purchase of a new build house or flat at which point the new title has not been created or if the land is unregistered then further consideration of the time involved may be required


Conveyancing process for selling a property

1.   Seller’s Conveyancer instructed.
2.   Seller’s Conveyancer confirms instructions by letter.
3.   Seller’s Conveyancer carries out proof of identity checks and sends out a fittings and contents form and property information form(s) for completion. If the property is leasehold, additional forms will be required. The Seller then completes the fittings and contents form and property information form(s).
4.   Seller’s Conveyancer obtains title deeds of the title register and any other documents required by The Land Registry and details of the amount outstanding on any existing mortgage.
5.   Seller’s Conveyancer prepares the draft contract and supporting contract documentation and sends to the buyer’s Conveyancer.
6.   Buyer’s Conveyancer checks the contract and supporting contract documentation and raises pre-contract enquiries with the seller’s Conveyancer.
7.   Seller’s Conveyancer and seller answer pre-contract enquiries.
8.   Buyer’s Conveyancer confirms they have acceptable results from their searches, are happy with the answers to pre-contract enquiries and are in receipt of a mortgage offer (if any).
9.   Seller and buyer agree on a completion date and contracts are formally “exchanged” - meaning both parties are legally committed to the transaction. Seller’s Conveyancer will obtain a settlement figure to repay the outstanding amount on any existing mortgage, if applicable. Buyer’s Conveyancer drafts a transfer deed and sends to the Seller’s Conveyancer.
10.   Seller’s Conveyancer checks the transfer deed and sends to the seller for signature in readiness for completion.
11.   On completion the seller must vacate the property at a time to be agreed and make arrangements to hand over the keys, usually through the estate agent. Buyer’s Conveyancer will send the proceeds of sale to the seller’s Conveyancer and the seller’s Conveyancer will arrange for the keys to be released to the buyer. The seller’s Conveyancer sends the title deeds and transfer deed to the buyer’s Conveyancer together with an undertaking to use the proceeds of sale to discharge any existing mortgage. The seller’s Conveyancer then pays the estate agent (if one was used), repays the amount owing to the existing mortgage lender (if applicable) and takes payment for their Conveyancing service costs.
12.   Once all the payments have been made all the remaining money from the sale will be transferred to the seller, usually by bank transfer on the day of completion.


Conveyancing process for buying a property

1.   Buyer’s Conveyancer instructed on acceptance of an offer.
2.   Buyer arranges a survey on the property, and makes an application for a mortgage (if required).
3.   Buyer’s Conveyancer confirms instructions by letter setting out the terms of business and fixed fee costs.
4.   Buyer’s Conveyancer contacts the seller’s Conveyancer to obtain the contract pack.
5.   Buyers Conveyancer checks the contract pack, raises pre-contract enquiries, carries out the necessary searches and obtains a copy of the mortgage offer.
6.   Sellers’s Conveyancer and seller answer pre-contract enquiries and return these to buyer’s Conveyancer.
7.   Buyer’s Conveyancer reviews and reports to the buyer on the contents of the contract pack, pre-contract enquiries, the result of the searches and mortgage offer.
The buyer then considers this report and raises questions on anything that is unclear.
8.   When the buyer is happy to proceed, arrangements are made for the deposit to be paid to the buyer’s Conveyancer in readiness for exchange of contracts.
9.   Seller and buyer agree on a completion date and contracts are formally “exchanged” - meaning both parties are legally committed to the transaction.
10.   Buyer’s Conveyancer prepares a draft transfer deed and completion information form and sends these to the seller’s Conveyancer for completion.
11.   Seller’s solicitor approves the draft transfer deed and a final copy is made. This may need to be signed by the buyer before being sent to the seller’s solicitor for signature by the seller in readiness for completion.
12.   Buyer’s Conveyancer prepares a completion statement, carries out pre-completion searches and applies to the buyer’s mortgage lender for the mortgage loan.
13.   On completion, the buyer vacates the property by the agreed time and buyer’s Conveyancer sends the proceeds of sale to the seller’s Conveyancer.
14.   Seller’s Conveyancer releases the keys to the estate agent (if one was used) and sends the title deeds and transfer deed to the buyer’s Conveyancer together with an undertaking to repay any existing mortgage.
15.   Buyer’s Conveyancer sends the stamp duty payable to HMRC, receives the title deeds, transfer deed and proof that the seller has paid the outstanding mortgage on the property.
16.   Buyer’s Conveyancer registers the property in the name of the buyer at The Land Registry.
17.   The buyer receives a copy of the registered title from The Land Registry. Any documents required by the mortgage lender to be retained by them are sent on by the Buyer’s solicitor.


Sale

This example is based on the average sale of a residential property valued at £400,000.

Please note that our conveyancing fees will change dependant on the property value.

Our Professional Fee: £1,450 plus VAT (20%) of £290.

Disbursements which are added to our professional fee:
Official Copies £12
Telegraph Transfer £35 plus VAT (20%) £7


Purchase

This example is based on the average sale of a residential property valued at £400,000.

Please note that our conveyancing fees will change dependant on the property value.

Our Professional Fee: £1,480 plus VAT (20%) of £296.

Disbursements which are added to our professional fee:
Telegraph Transfer £35 plus VAT (20%) £7
Standard set of Searches Estimate £230 (this will vary depending on the council and water company providing the searches)
Land Registry fee on completion
Stamp Duty See below


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees.


Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT):
Property or lease premium or transfer value SDLT rate
Up to £125,000 Zero
The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000) 2%
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000) 5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%
More information on Stamp Duty can be found on the Government website.


Probate

Stages of probate

We understand that sorting out a loved one's estate can seem a daunting process; here we explain the steps you will need to take. Every aspect of the work is either carried out by or directly monitored by a Partner.

1.   Valuing and collating the estate
The first thing to do is to ensure that the deceased's assets, possessions and property are secured and make sure there is adequate insurance cover for them. You will also need to find the Will. It may be necessary at this point to take steps, perhaps by contacting suitable probate solicitors, to verify the document's validity. Begin to make a detailed inventory of all assets and arrange a valuation of the estate, including any houses, chattels (general possessions), stocks, shares, investments, life insurance policies, artwork and all other personal items. Collate all documentation and paperwork relating to assets, including any bank statements, passbooks for savings accounts, share and stocks certificates, property deeds, insurance policies, NSA accounts and more.
The personal representatives should register the death with all asset and liability holders; you will need to send each one a copy of the death certificate.

2.   Paying Inheritance Tax (if applicable)
The current Inheritance Tax threshold stands at £325,000, and if the estate is not subject to Inheritance Tax, it will be necessary to complete form IHT205. More information about Inheritance Tax, including the Nil Rate Band Transfers and the Residence Nil Rate Band, can be found on https://www.gov.uk/guidance/inheritance-tax-residence-nil-rate-band.
In the event that there is not enough money to cover Inheritance Tax and probate fees, a loan may be required. In some cases, it may be possible to pay the Inheritance Tax in instalments. Inheritance Tax must be paid within 6 months of the date of death and before the Grant of Representation can be applied for.

3.   Applying for grant of probate (or letters of administration if there is no Will)
In order to obtain the Grant of Representation, it is necessary for the personal representative to swear an oath that all information they have given the Probate Registry is true to the best of their knowledge. The registry will send the oath, and the representative will need to make an appointment at a local probate office or with a commissioner for oaths (typically a solicitor) to take the oath and sign the document.


Probate fees:
£215 for a personal application, or £155 if a solicitor is applying on behalf of the executors
50p per copy of the Grant

Completed forms need to be sent to the Probate Registry together with the original Will, the death certificate and the IHT form.

4.   Informing interested parties
Once the executors have received the Grant, usually within ten working days, copies should be sent to all asset holders together with a request to release any funds.
A statutory advertisement for creditors and other claimants should be placed in the Gazette and local press.

5.   Gathering the estate assets (liquidate if required) and then paying any debts from the estate
Another important step in the probate process is settling accounts with all asset and liability holders – you will need copies of the grant of representation to do this. Any monies due to the deceased should be collected. Usually, it is necessary to open a bank account on behalf of the estate (the Executor's Account) and any owed money to the estate that is then collected can be paid into the account.
Income tax forms and capital gains tax forms for the period of administration should be completed. If any assets are due to be sold, this is the stage at which to sell those assets. Any debts should now be settled. There is a set order of priority for whom should be paid first:
     a.   Any remaining Funeral expenses
     b.   Any taxes that are due
     c.   Creditors, such as loans, mortgages, and outstanding debts
     d.   If there is a will, and once all creditors are paid, the beneficiaries can then receive their legacies. If there is no Will, then the estate is distributed according to the Rules of Intestacy.

The final estate accounts should be prepared.

6.   Distributing the estate in line with the Will or rules of intestacy if there is no Will
Once the residuary beneficiaries have approved the estate accounts, the executors can distribute the estate in line with the Will, or the Rules of Intestacy if there is no Will. The Executor’s bank account can now be closed.


Complete Service

We can provide a complete service where we deal with every aspect of the estate from begging to end.

Our prices:
We will charge a fix 2% of the gross value of the estate plus VAT (20%) and disbursements.

Disbursements:
Disbursement Price
Probate Court Fee £155 with additional copies charged at 50p per copy
Copies of the deeds to the deceased’s property £3 per property
Protection from unexpected claims from unknown creditors Approximately £200 plus VAT (20%)


Our timescales:
On average a taxable estate takes about a year to complete but there are some which complete in a much shorter timescale and some which may take longer. We will keep you updated on the process throughout.