Fees

Our Conveyancing Fees

Here at Hepburns we can guarantee you that we will never pay ‘referral fees’ to estate agents or anyone else for that matter. We consider it unethical and unprofessional. What’s more we don’t add ‘extras’ to our bills, for example charging the client an additional fee for filing the Stamp Duty Land Transaction Return with the Revenue or arranging an indemnity policy if there is something amiss with the legal title or even, in some cases, charging for postage! We consider these matters to be part and parcel of the conveyancing process, not an ‘add-on’. So, our additional guarantee is that you won’t be charged anything more than the original quotation unless the nature of the transaction is substantially different from what was advised at the outset or materially changes in the course of the transaction. For example, you ask for a quote for a freehold purchase but it turns out be a leasehold purchase with a share of the freehold.

So, we believe in transparency, nothing more nothing less, and here are our charges: 

Sale/Purchase
Price
Freehold Sale or Freehold
Purchase
Leasehold Sale or Leasehold Purchase
£0 – 999,999£975 + vat£1,100 + vat
£1,000,000 – £1,499,999£1,250 + vat£1,400 + vat
£ 1,500,000 – £1,999,999£1,500 + vat£1,700 + vat
£2,000,000 and abovePlease ask for a quotePlease ask for a quote

NB: Vat is currently charged at a rate of 20%

Please note that in all transactions if we have to arrange for a same-day CHAPS bank transfer to another account (for example to your lender to redeem an existing mortgage) we charge a fee of £30+vat per transfer.

In addition to our fees you will also have to meet the cost of any disbursements incurred during the transaction. Most are dependent on the purchase price and as a consequence we will provide you, where possible, with details when we confirm our quotation in writing to you. These include, for example, conveyancing searches, land registry fees and, in particular, stamp duty land tax. Stamp Duty Land Tax is potentially payable on all land purchase transactions. We are not able to provide details of the amount of tax payable in respect of your transaction until we have more details of your personal circumstances which include whether you are a first-time purchaser or whether the property purchased will be treated as an additional residential property and thus liable to a higher rate of tax. Revenue and Customs provide further information and an on-line calculator which can be accessed at gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax

With a sale of a leasehold flat you will also often have to pay the landlord or their managing agents a fee for providing a leasehold information pack. Similarly, with a purchase of leasehold property the landlord will usually require a ‘registration fee’ to be paid following completion. These fees will also vary.  

As you can probably guess there are certain matters where the complexity results in a higher charge and we will be pleased to provide a quotation when requested.

These include:

The purchase of a ‘New Build’ property whether freehold or leasehold.

Where, on the sale of a leasehold property, the lease is so short a lease extension is required by the buyer (or their lender) or the lease is defective and requires a deed of variation rectifying the same.

The purchase of leasehold property with ‘a share of the freehold’ which will involve the either the transfer of the seller’s interest in the freehold title or the transfer of their interest in a freehold management company.

The purchase of a shared-ownership lease from, for example, a housing association.

The purchase of ‘right to buy’ property from, for example, a local authority.

The purchase or sale of land which is currently unregistered i.e. the title has not been established at, and subsequently guaranteed, by the Land Registry.

We invite you to contact us in these circumstances so that we can provide you with an estimate of our fees which you are happy with.

Our Probate Fees

It may be helpful if we briefly outline what has to be done before work is completed and the Estate can finally be wound up. Executors/Administrators have the responsibility of administering the Estate property.  This means establishing the extent of the Estate, paying the debts and distributing the balance.  The law requires that this be done with due diligence. If you instruct Hepburns it will be our task to handle all the following steps on the basis of the information you provide: –

1. Estimating the value of the Estate after all the bills are paid and identifying any problems there may be before the beneficiaries can be given their entitlement.

2.  Dealing with any Inheritance Tax (IHT) due – this has to be paid before we can get the Grant of Representation from the Probate Registry.

3.  Sending copies of the Grant to Banks, Building Societies and others holding money and property. Some items may need to be sold and, of course, we will discuss this with you. (Larger and more valuable items may have to be professionally valued. Fees for this and other work for the Estate will be paid from money in the Estate.)

4.  Collecting and paying Estate money into our client account (where it will be subject to the protection of the Solicitors Regulation Authority`s Rules regarding solicitors’ firms’ handling of clients’ money). This also helps us to start to prepare the accounts, which will show the assets of the Estate and the payments of bills and legacies.  We should be able to let you know how matters stand at any particular time, should you wish it.

5.  Once the bills have been paid, it will be possible to start paying smaller legacies under the Will.  The final stages of my work involve obtaining confirmation from the HM Revenue & Customs that no more tax is due, finalising the accounts, and handing over the remaining entitlements to the beneficiaries and getting their receipts.

FEES

Our charges will be calculated mainly by reference to the time spent. Our charge rate for work of this nature is £150-00 per hour.  The charge rate is subject to review but we will of course notify you if there is any change during the administration of the estate.

In addition, the following charges will apply: –

Letters written – £15.00 each
Letters received/considered – £7.50 each

Fax, telephone calls, and any e-mails – £15.00 each

(N.B. We reserve the right to charge on a time basis for any of the above if they are more complicated or lengthier than is normal).

This firm’s charges will also contain an element based on the value of the estate.  This is because the value is a reflection of the importance of the matter and consequently the responsibility on the firm.  Therefore, we will also charge 0.25 per cent of the gross value of the estate.

In matters such as this it is difficult to estimate how many hours of work will be necessary to complete the matter.  We will provide you with an estimate from the outset but in complicated matters this may change as the matter proceeds and it becomes clear how much time is likely to be needed. We will let you know if it becomes apparent that we will have to spend substantially more time on this matter than currently estimated.

There will also be certain additional expenses (known as disbursements) such as Court fees and charges for the official copies of the grant document which we shall be obtaining for you from the Court.

Please note that our fees in relation to estate administration are subject to a minimum charge of £2,500+vat excluding any conveyancing charges.

The sale of freehold/leasehold properties which are comprised within the estate will give rise to a fixed charge conveyancing charge based upon our Conveyancing Fees. This is in addition to the fees as set out above.

The charges that will be made in this matter as set out above cover the work that we have been instructed to undertake.  If we are instructed to undertake further work, we would need to make additional charges and we will inform you of what these charges will be.

If for any reason this firm does not complete the work you have instructed us to do, then a charge will be made in respect of the work that has already been completed.  VAT would be payable on that amount and the estate would also be billed for any disbursements incurred.  Depending upon the amount of work done this may be a small proportion of the figure given above or it may be almost the full amount.

We would advise that this firm does not usually deal with the annual administration of any Trusts created by the Deceased’s Will or Intestacy, nor are we authorised to provide any investment advice or service.

We are often requested to provide estimates of the time it will take to complete the Administration of an Estate. This is very difficult to ascertain particularly at the outset and will vary according to the complexity of each case.  However please note that it is usually prudent to wait for the time limit for claims against the Estate under the provision of the Inheritance (Provision of Family and Dependants) Act 1975 to expire. This is usually 6 months from the date of the Grant of Representation. A Personal Representative who has distributed the estate before this date may become personally liable for any successful claim.

In addition, it is usually advisable for the Personal Representatives to advertise for claimants/creditors to come forward pursuant to the provision of Section 27 of the Trustee Act 1925. If no claims are made within the statutory period (usually 2 months from the date of the Advert) then the Personal Representatives will only be liable to settle any known claims and will not otherwise be personally responsible (although claimants can still pursue the Beneficiaries of the Estate). The cost of the advert is an administration expense but we will require your authority to place the same.

Insurance Mediation Activity and Financial Services

This firm is not authorised by the Financial Services Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Services Authority so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or address if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The register can be accessed via the F.S.A website at http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register.

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