Our fees and charges

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The Law Society of Scotland issued guidance to all law firms in Scotland which means that lawyers have to publish information about the fees they charge on their website. The purpose of this is to enable visitors to our website to gather information about the fees our firm charges for the different types of work we carry out. Whist much of the work we do is charged on a fixed fee basis, every case is different and presents difference challenges. That sometimes means that an additional charge needs to be applied.

We are pleased to present details of our fees on this and the pages that follow to assist you with your budget when seeking our help and advice.

The information on this and the following pages relates to personal and property services. If you would like to speak with us about our charges for carrying out a commercial transaction for you, please contact us to discuss your needs. If you are buying or selling a property, you can also get an instant online quote based on the actual purchase or sale price of the property you are interested in.

This guidance covers the following range of our services. Please click on the links for full details.

The costs of buying a house

The fee we charge is only one element of the overall legal cost of buying a house. There are many outlays which we have to collect from you and pay to others. In many instances, the fee is only a shall element of the overall cost of buying a house and we will provide a detailed breakdown of the likely costs involved in a regular house purchase transaction.

When you buy a house in Scotland you must engage a solicitor to deal with the conveyancing aspects of the purchase. For budgetary purposes, it is very important that you know how much this is going to cost you.

Our aim is to charge for our service on a fixed fee basis. We will provide you with a fee estimate at the outset of your transaction so you know what you have to budget for. That estimate will include the outlays or third party costs we have to collect and pay on your behalf and expenses. However, on occasions, because of circumstances outwith your or our control, additional work may be necessary to successfully complete your purchase. That additional work will attract an additional charge. We will inform you should such a situation arise and discuss this with you in some detail.

We also operate a specialist unit dealing with newbuild properties and, of course, provide a complete service to home movers who wish to buy an existing house.

Our charges are tiered based on the price of the house and we will explain these charges on these pages.

Standard fees for buying a house.

Purchase Price Fee VAT Total Cost (incl. VAT)
Up to £100,000 £595 £119 £714
£100,001 - £150,000 £625 £125 £750
£150,001 – £200,000 £675 £135 £810
£200,001 - £300,000 £725 £145 £870
£300,001 - £500,000 £750 £150 £900

Fees for buying a newbuild property (all price bands)

Type of purchase Fee VAT Total Cost (incl. VAT)
Without shared equity £450 £90 £540
With shared equity £650 £130 £780
Part exchange selling fee when purchasing a new build property £450 £90 £540

Fee for buying a non-newbuild property using the LIFT Scheme

  Fee VAT Total Cost (incl. VAT)
All property price bands £750 £150 £900

Please note that VAT must be charged on our fee.

Our fee is payable in relation to all of the legal work we do for you in the house purchase process. We will explain later the extent of that service. However, our fee is only one component of the cost of buying a house. The additional costs vary and these will depend on several factors, one of which is the value of the house you are buying.

When you buy a house you need to meet these costs in addition to our fee and VAT. Should you be carrying our price comparisons for budgetary purposes, please ensure you obtain an estimate of the whole costs and not simply the fee element of your house purchase.

What are the additional costs of buying a house

These additional costs are traditionally known as Expenses and Outlays or Disbursements. We collect the Outlays or Disbursements and pay to others and from which we derive no benefit. These additional costs are likely to vary depending on the purchase price of the property.

In order that you are fully informed of the rage of costs, we now provide a worked example of the costs of buying a house.

We will base the cost of this example on the average price of property in Scotland at the time of preparation of this example. This stands at £180,000.

Standard Purchase of an existing property

Cost of buying a house
Legal Fee £675.00
Land & Building Transaction Tax * £700.00
Registration Dues of Disposition # £400.00
Registration Dues of Standard Security ** £80.00
Cost of Advance Notice £20.00
LBTT Return Completion Charge £75.00
Amiqus IT verification check (per person) £25.00
Bank transfer charge (per transfer) £30.00
Posts and Incidents £15.00
Electronic Archiving charge £20.00
VAT £168.00
Estimated Total £2,208.00

Land & Building Transaction Tax (LBTT)

*Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) is a tiered tax. It only applies when you buy a house and the buyer pays this cost. The nil rate band (the price under which you pay no LBTT) is £145,000.

You should also be aware that first-time buyers have a higher nil rate band of £175,000 which means that a first-time buyer purchasing a property for up to this price would pay no LBTT.

LBTT increases as the price of the house increased.

For the LBTT calculation, we have taken the price (£180,000) and deducted the normal nil rate band (£145,000) and calculated the LBTT at 2% of the difference (£35,000) to arrive at our figure of £700.

To work out how much LBTT you’ll have to pay, please use the Revenue Scotland LBTT Calculator by clicking here.

Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS)

If you already own property, whether in Scotland or anywhere else in the world, the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) will be applied. Also, If you are buying a house but have not yet sold your existing house, the ADS will need to be paid. However, when you finally sell your existing house, the ADS can be reclaimed. If you do find yourself in this position, you must pay the ADS before we can complete the purchase. The ADS currently stands at 4% of the entire purchase price of the house (provided the price is in excess of £40,000). Please ensure you budget for the ADS if you find yourself in this position.

Registration Dues

# Registration Dues are applied to both the Disposition (the deed that transfers ownership of the property to you) and the Standard Security (should you take our a mortgage to help buy the house). These deeds have to be registered in the Land Register. There is a sliding scale of charges based on price you pay for the house. The fees are set by the Registers of Scotland and full details of their charges can be found here.

** Registration Dues of Standard Security apply if you are taking out a mortgage over the property. The mortgage has to be secured by a Standard Security. This which forms a charge over the property in favour of your lender.

When you engage us to deal with your house purchase, we will provide you with a detailed fee estimate, including the costs applicable to the purchase price you will pay.

Use our online costs calculators

Should you wish to obtain an accurate estimate for your own purchase, we recommend you use our Residential Cost Calculator which you will find by clicking here. If you are buying a newbuild property, you can use our Newbuild Cost Calculator which you will find by clicking here. In either case, please select the option that suits you best.

What’s involved in buying a house?

We work through a process to transfer the title of the property from the previous owner into your name. When we complete the purchase, the title to the property will be held in your name. There are essential steps we must take to achieve this. These are:

  • Discussing your purchase with you and answering any questions you have
  • Completing the anti-money laundering process
  • Taking your instructions on the Offer
  • Submitting your Offer to the selling agents
  • Advising on acceptance and negotiating the Missives (contract for sale and purchase)
  • Conducting an examination of the title to the property and advising you on it
  • Making observations on the title to the seller’s solicitor
  • Checking all searches and reports provided by the seller’s solicitor
  • Drafting the Disposition which transfers the title into your name
  • If you are using a mortgage to finance your purchase:
    • Reviewing loan instructions and creating the Standard Security (charge over the property)
    • Explaining the extent and import of the Standard Security and Loan Conditions
    • Having the Standard Security signed by you
    • Submitting a Report on the Title to the property to your Lender
    • Ordering loan funds
  • Sending you a completion statement showing the amount required at completion
  • Completing the purchase with the seller’s solicitor
  • Arranging release of the keys to you
  • Registering the Disposition transferring ownership to you in the Land Register
  • Registering the Standard Security in favour of the Lender (if any) in the Land Register
  • Finalising your purchase and sending you a final completion statement

What might cause the fee to increase?

The cost estimate we send to you covers all of the above steps.  We will make every effort to carry out all of the work required in your purchase within the cost estimate we have provided. However, on occasions, we need to carry out additional work to achieve completion. This may result in additional costs.

Some of the additional work my include:

  • Problems with the title to the property
  • Issues relating to unauthorised alterations or lack of certificates
  • Issues relating to the boundaries where the boundaries on the ground do not correspond with the boundaries in the title

There are numerous other issues we may need to address that are not listed here. These are just some examples of the issues you may face when buying a house. Whilst we will make every effort to carry out the additional work within the cost estimate we have provided, sometimes that is simply not possible. Additional charges may be applied if significant additional work needs to be carried out to resolve an issue due to the nature or complexity of the issue.

If we find out there is a problem we need to deal with, we will contact you when we discover it. We will explain the extent of the problem and the potential solution and will work with the seller’s solicitor to achieve that solution. We will also give you an indication at that time if there is a likelihood of an increase in the costs.

A time-based charge of £200 per hour exclusive of VAT will be applied for additional work we are required to carry out for you. That means the cost would be £240 per hour (inclusive of VAT)

If you would like more information or a detailed breakdown of the cost of your purchase, please complete this short enquiry form.

The costs of selling a house

As with buying a house, the fee we charge for selling a house is only part of the overall legal costs. We, again, have to collect and make payment to third parties for their services in the process. We will detail our fee and the additional costs involved and provide a worked example showing the overall cost of selling the “average” house.

You need the services of a solicitor when you sell a house in Scotland. In order to budget for your sale, it is important to have a comprehensive statement of the likely costs involved.

Our charges for the legal work involved in selling a house are set on a fixed fee basis. We will make every effort to complete the sale of your hose within the cost estimate we provide. Sometimes, however, we have to carry out additional work to deal with situations outwith your or our control.

Our fee for selling a house is based on the value as shown in the following table:

Sale Price Fee VAT Total Cost (incl. VAT)
Up to £100,000 £545 £109 £654
£100,001 – £200,000 £615 £123 £738
£200,001 - £300,000 £625 £125 £750
£300,001 and above £675 £135 £810

This fee covers all the legal work we will do for you and which we will outline later.

Please note: If there is a shared equity element in your sale, an additional fee of £150 (exclusive of VAT) will be payable. This means the additional cost, including VAT of 20% will amount to £180.

Also, should your sale be a newbuild part exchange sale, our fee for the work involved, irrespective of the sale price will be £450 (exclusive of VAT). That means the selling fee, including VAT of 20% will amount to £540.

There are additional costs involved in the sale of a house. These costs will vary depending on a number of factors, including the price of the house. These additional costs are Outlays or Disbursements and Expenses. Outlays are paid to third parties in respect of services they provide to us and we derive no benefit from those but they do not attract VAT. Expenses charged attract VAT.

When seeking the costs of selling a house, please ensure you receive a full breakdown of all the costs involved, not just the fee.

The additional costs of selling a house

Selling a house attracts a set of specific additional costs. These additional costs can vary depending on the location of the property and whether something like a plans report is required.

We will now provide an example of costs when you sell a house.

For the purposes of this exercise, will base the costs on a selling price of £180,000 (which is around the average price of a property in Scotland at the time of preparation of this example).

When you tell us about the price of the house you’re selling, we’ll send you a detailed breakdown of the costs along with our Terms of Business. Alternatively, you can get an accurate estimate of costs by using our online fee calculator which you can use by clicking here.

Cost of selling a house
Legal Fee £615.00
Property Search Dues (Property Enquiry Certificate and Legal Report) * £175.00
Registration Dues of Discharge # £80.00
Cost of Advance Notice £20.00
Cost of Coal Authority Report £41.94
Amiqus IT verification check (per person) £25.00
Bank transfer charge (per transfer) £30.00
Posts and Incidents £15.00
Electronic Archiving charge £20.00
VAT £141.00
Estimated Total £1,162.94

How can these additional costs change?

* The Searchers provide us with a combined report which comprises a local authority search and a title search. We need to show these to the buyer’s solicitor. We may also have to have plans prepared as part of the selling process. If we have to do that, additional costs will be incurred.

# The Standard Security registered over the property in relation to any mortgage will need to be discharged. The Discharge deed must be registered in the Land Register.

What is involved when you are selling a house?

We follow a sales process to deal with the transfer of the title of the seller’s property into the buyer’s name and follow through a series of essential steps to reach completion. These are:

  • Discussing your sale with you and taking your instructions
  • Advising you on the elements of the sale process
  • Dealing with anti-money laundering compliance checks
  • Reviewing offers received and discussing these with you
  • Advising on and issuing an acceptance and negotiating conclusion of the missives (contract for sale and purchase)
  • Providing your title and evidence of ownership to the buyer’s solicitor
  • Ordering and exhibiting necessary property and personal reports to the buyer’s solicitor
  • Responding to title queries raised by the buyer’s solicitor
  • Revising and approving the Disposition transferring ownership to the buyer
  • If there is a mortgage held over the property:
  • If you have a mortgage:
    • Preparing the Discharge of the Standard Security (charge) registered against the property
    • Repaying the mortgage on settlement of the sale
    • Having the lender execute the Discharge
    • Registering the Discharge in the Land Register
  • Arranging with you to sign the Disposition
  • Receiving the sale price in exchange for the title documents
  • Authorising release of the keys
  • Providing you with a completion statement and sending you the free proceeds of sale

What might cause the fee to increase?

There may be circumstances where we need to spend additional time to resolve issues in relation to your sale. There might be problems with the title or some other notice which we need to discharge to enable your sale to proceed. There may be problems with unauthorised alterations or local authority notices we need to resolve. Whilst we will make every effort to carry out this work within the fixed fee we have quoted, if we are required to spend additional time to deal with a lengthy and complex issue, this will lead to additional costs being incurred.

Should such a situation arise, we will inform you of the circumstances and explain the issue. We will let you know whether we expect to be able to resolve this within the fixed fee estimate we have provided. We will also try to let you have an indication of the likely additional costs involved.

Where additional chargeable work is required, this will be at a time-based rate of £200 per hour exclusive of VAT. That means the cost would be £240 per hour (inclusive of VAT)

The costs of Equity Release

For those over 55 years of age who wish to unlock and enjoy the value of their home, Equity Release is a serious option. We will advise you throughout the process and liaise with the funds provider so that the entire process is carried out as speedily as possible.

People who are over 55 years of age can release the capital locked up in their home through Equity Release schemes. In exchange for releasing the money to you, the equity release company will seek a Standard Security over your property and ask you to enter into an agreement with them.

We will guide you through the process involved and explain the different stages as your case progresses.

Our fee for carrying out Equity Release work is £695 (exclusive of VAT). The cost for doing this work, therefore, is £834 (Including 20% VAT).

As with the other types of legal work we carry out on our client’s behalf, the fee we charge is only part of the cost of the equity release process. Additional variable costs will be charged based on a number of factors which we will highlight below.

You should be cautious when trying to compare costs for Equity Release to ensure you receive a note of all of the costs involved and not simply the fee element.

What are the additional costs of Equity Release?

The additional costs involved in an Equity Release case can vary depending on the property location and the number of different reports required

The “typical” costs for an Equity Release case are as follows:

Cost of equity release
Legal Fee £695.00
Property Search Dues (Property Enquiry Certificate and Legal Report) * £175.00
Registration Dues of Discharge# £80.00
Registration Dues of Standard Security £80.00
Cost of Advance Notice £20.00
Cost of Coal Authority Report £41.94
Amiqus IT verification check (per person) £25.00
Bank transfer charge (per transfer) £30.00
Posts and Incidents £15.00
Electronic Archiving charge £20.00
VAT on the Fee £157.00
Estimated Total £1,198.94

How can these additional costs vary?

* This is a combined cost of a local authority search and title search instructed through independent Searchers. This provides two of the reports we need to send to the solicitor appointed to represent the Equity Release provider as part of the conveyancing process. We may also need to order plans or additional searches to send to the Equity Release provider’s solicitor.

# The registration dues of a Discharge will only apply if there is a mortgage secured over the property that needs to be discharged or where a mortgage has been previously repaid but the Standard Security has never been discharged.

What are the steps in the Equity Release process?

There are certain conveyancing steps that must be followed to allow the Equity Release company to be satisfied that it holds a valid and enforceable Standard Security over your property and a completed Equity Release agreement. The steps we follow in each case as the following.

  • Take your instructions and advising you on your Equity Release
  • Conducting anti-money laundering compliance checks
  • Reviewing the equity release offer and conditions and reporting to you
  • Obtaining and reviewing the title to your property
  • Requesting the relevant searches and exhibiting these to the Equity Release provider’s solicitor
  • Creating or revising the Standard Security you will need to sign
  • Explaining the nature and extent of the Standard Security and the obligations contained in it
  • If you have an existing mortgage
    • Drafting the Discharge of the existing Standard Security
    • Sending the Discharge for execution
    • Redeeming the mortgage from the Equity Release proceeds
    • Registering the Discharge in the Land Register
  • Obtaining the funds from the Equity Release provider’s solicitor
  • Registering the new Standard Security in the Land Register
  • Accounting to you and providing a completion statement

Are there circumstances where the fee might increase?

We will carry out all of the legal work we have outlined above within our fixed fee estimate. However, there can be occasions where additional work is required to achieve release of the Equity Release funds. This might involve title issue or certification relating to alterations carried out to the property or some adverse local authority notice.

Whilst we will always attempt to deal with these issues within the fixed fee quoted, this is not always possible due to the length of time taken or the complexity in resolving these matters. We will explain the problems to you, the proposed solution as well as the timescales and costs involved in their resolution

Where additional work outwith our fixed fee quote is necessary , this will be changed at a rate of £200 per hour exclusive of VAT. That means the cost would be £240 per hour (inclusive of VAT)

The cost of a Will

Making a Will is one of the most important things you can ever do. It will give you peace of mind and ensure that your affairs can be dealt with properly after your death. In addition, having a Will means your loved ones will receive what you wish them to receive and you do not have to depend on the Law of Succession. Making a Will is especially important for cohabiting partners who are not married or in a civil partnership.

Making a Will is very straight forward and affordable.

Our fee for a single, simple Will is £170.00 (excluding VAT). The total cost is £204 (including VAT).

Our fee for mirror Wills (two Wills prepared at the same time where the terms of one Will mirrors the terms of the other) is £220.00 (excluding VAT). The total cost of is £264.00

What does the cost of making a Will include?

The following work is included for the above cost:

  • Discussing your wishes and taking your instructions
  • Advising you about your options
  • Advising on how Legal Rights may impact on your Will
  • Drafting your Will and sending this to you for your review
  • Making any changes you wish to be made
  • Meeting with you to have you sign your Will
  • Sending you a Copy of your Will

We are happy to offer safe storage of your Will for you. There is an annual cost of £35 plus VAT for this service. That means the annual cost will amount to £42. If you decide to store your Will with us, we will offer you an annual Will review free of charge.

Does this cost include everything?

There are circumstances where additional charges will be added. Some examples of these are:

  • Advice on any trust provisions you wish to include in your Will
  • Any advice we provide in respect of vulnerable beneficiaries (anyone who might be incapacitated or bankrupt etc.)
  • Inheritance Tax advice or Inheritance Tax planning
  • Any transfer of property for any trust related purposes

If you need to include complex provisions in your Will such as including guardianship provisions, special provisions relating to children from different relationships or have complex legacies, complicated distribution provisions or advice on disinheriting beneficiaries, these will attract additional charges.

Each Will is personal to the individual and we will be happy to discuss your particular needs. Should there be any increase costs to help you meet those needs, we will advise you of these.

The costs of making a Power of Attorney

When you draw up a Power of Attorney, you appoint someone you trust who will make the kind of decisions you would make if you are no longer to make those decisions yourself. This means that you can exercise a degree of control over your finances or welfare needs should you become incapacitated.

Drawing up a Power of Attorney need not be complicated. For a single Power of Attorney, we charge £300 (excluding VAT) and for Powers of Attorney for you and your Partner we charge £400 (excluding VAT).

Accordingly, the total cost, including VAT of 20% for our Power of Attorney options is as follows:

Single Power of Attorney: £360 (including VAT)

Two Powers of Attorney: £480 (including VAT)

Additional costs of drawing up a Power of Attorney?

When you have drawn up your Power of Attorney, if it is a Welfare or Continuing Power of Attorney or a Combined Welfare and Continuing Power of Attorney, we will then register it with the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) (OPG). When we register the Power of Attorney with the OPG, we will be charged a registration fee for this.

The OPG currently charges a fee of £81 for each Power of Attorney registered. You can check the level of fees charged by the OPG by clicking here.

In certain circumstances, an exemption is available for the registration costs. Please click here to view the circumstances where the fee exemption applies.

The means the total cost of drawing up a single Power of Attorney will be as follows:

Legal Fee £300
VAT £60
Registration Fee payable to the OPG £81
Total E441

The total cost of drawing up two Powers of Attorney for a couple will be as follows:

Legal Fee £400
VAT £80
Registration Fee payable to the OPG £162
Total E642

What’s included in this cost of drawing up a Power of Attorney?

  • Discussing your requirements with you
  • Providing you with advice
  • Explaining your Power of Attorney options
  • Drawing up a Power of Attorney for your review
  • Arranging for the principal Power of Attorney to be signed
  • Preparing the certificate certifying your capacity to grant a Power of Attorney
  • Registering the Power of Attorney with the OPG and obtaining an extract
  • Storing an extract of your Power of Attorney (should you require this)

Are there any other costs involved?

We have outlined the costs involved in nearly all of the Powers of Attorney we create for our clients. However, the fixed fee for drawing up a Power of Attorney will not include:

  • Customised or specific powers you wish to grant to the attorney in the Power of Attorney
  • Complex or complicated arrangements in the implementation of actions by different attorneys or a combination of attorneys
  • Customised or specific instructions to the attorney contained in the Power of Attorney

Should you require such complexity to be included in the Power of Attorney, we will discuss this with you and advise you on it. We will also outline the additional costs involved in drawing up a Power of Attorney containing such complexity.

The cost of dealing with an Estate

Whilst we provide a full service to clients wishing us to deal with an Estate on their behalf, we appreciate that, on occasions, clients may wish us to deal only with the Confirmation elements of the estate. We are happy to provide either a full estate service or a Confirmation only service depending on your requirements.

Confirmation (this is called Probate in England) provides the executor with the authority to deal with the estate of the deceased.

Our Confirmation only service

This service focuses on the preparation and delivery of the Inventory of Estate to the Sheriff Court. In this option, the executor will deal with all of the initial enquiries to establish the extent of the estate and, following the grant of Confirmation, the executor will deal with the distribution of the estate.

The fee for our Confirmation only service is £950 (exclusive of VAT). The cost to you inclusive of VAT of 20% amounts to £1,140.

In addition to our fee, you will need to meet the costs charged by the Sheriff Court for receiving and examining the Inventory of Estate. The charge made by the Sheriff Court varies depending on the value of the estate. The current Sheriff Court charges are as follows:

Estate value of up to £50,000 No fee
Estate value between £50,000.01 and £250,000 £266.00
Estate value exceeding £250,000 £532.00

This means if you wish us to conduct a Confirmation only service for you on an estate of a value of, say, £150,000, the total costs payable will be as follows:

Fee £950.00
VAT £190.00
Estate value exceeding £250,000 £266.00
Total £1,406.00

Should you require us to carry out any additional work in relation to the estate, our charging basis will move to our full estate service fee level.

Our Full Estate Service

When we deliver our full estate service, we will establish the extent of the estate, lodge the Inventory of Estate with the Sheriff Court and deal with the distribution of the estate on behalf of the executor. Each estate is different and that means it is very difficult to provide specific costs. When the case is completed, we will send our file to an external auditor for a fee assessment to ensure that the case is independently assessed. Accordingly, by taking a typical fee charge, we are able to provide you with an indication of costs for the work we carry out.

A number of factors come into play when dealing with an estate. We deal with estates where there is a Will and other estates where there is no Will. In either type of estate, whether there is a Will or not, there may be Inheritance Tax matters we need to deal with.

Where we deal with an estate where there is a Will, the typical fee for this work is £2,500 (excluding VAT). That means the cost to you for our fees amounts to £3,000 (including VAT).

Where we deal with an estate where there is no Will, the typical fee for this work is £3,500 (excluding VAT). That means the cost to you for our fees amounts to £4,200 (including VAT).

In cases where Inheritance Tax is involved and we are required to carry out computations and settle the tax with HMRC, the typical fee for this type of work is £4,500 (excluding VAT). That means the cost to you for our fees amounts to £5,400 (including VAT).

As with other types of legal work, the typical fee is only part of the cost of dealing with an estate. There are additional costs which need to be met when we carry out the work. In the case of dealing with estates, where there is no Will, there are additional costs involved compared to a case where there is a Will.

In the examples of costs we now provide, we will look at an estate with a value of £225,000. This is likely to include a house with a value of £180,000 (which is around the average price of a house in Scotland at the moment) along with some savings, cash and, perhaps, an insurance policy.

We will address the typical costs where there is no Will and also where there is a Will.

Typical costs where there is no Will

Legal Fee £3,500.00
VAT £700.00
Court dues for petition for appointment of executor £19.00
Cost of a Bond of Caution * £350.00
Cost of Confirmation # £266.00
Total £4,835.00

* When there is no Will, a Bond of Caution is required unless on of the following applies:

  • Where 100% of deceased’s estate passes to the surviving spouse or civil partner, or
  • Where ethe total value if the estate is less than £36,000

A Bond of Caution is needed when the deceased died without a Will. It is a kind of insurance policy granted for the protection of beneficiaries against incorrect distribution of the estate by the executor. The premium for the Bond of Caution will vary depending on the value of the estate and whether there are any circumstances where the insurer considers there to be any specific additional risk.

Typical costs where there is a Will

Legal Fee £2,500.00
VAT on the Fee £500.00
Cost of Confirmation # £266.00
Total £3,266.00

# The cost of Confirmation is charged by the Sheriff Court when the Inventory listing the extent of the Estate is lodged. The Fees charged by the Sheriff Court for this are based on the value of the estate. For further information on the current costs for Confirmation please click here.

Clearly, there are financial benefits where the deceased had made a Will in the form of reduced costs.

Inheritance Tax

Estates of certain amounts Inheritance Tax will apply. There are circumstances in which no Inheritance Tax is payable. These are:

  • Where ethe value of the estate is below the current Inheritance Tax threshold of £325,000, or
  • Where the deceased left everything above the £325,000 threshold to their spouse, civil partner or charity or to a community amateur sports club.

There is also provision where you can increase that threshold by leaving your home to your children or grandchildren. In such circumstances, the threshold below which no Inheritance Tax is payable is increased to £500,000.

You should also be aware that if the deceased was married or in a civil partnership and the estate is worth less than the Inheritance Tax threshold, any unused part of the threshold can be carried forward to the estate of the surviving spouse or civil partner. If we include the additional allowance where a house is left to children or grandchildren, it is possible that the threshold will reach £1 million.

When Inheritance Tax is payable, this is charged at a date of 40% of the value of the estate that is over the threshold.

If you would like to know more about this complicated area of Tax, we recommend that you visit the UK Government website for more detailed information on how Inheritance Tax is deal with and what further exemptions may be available. You can find out more by clicking here.

In the examples we have provided, you will note that the estate is less than the Inheritance Tax threshold and that means no Inheritance Tax is payable. However, a return must still be made to HMRC even though the estate is below the threshold.

What’s involved when you deal with an estate?

As with our example of costs, what is involved in dealing with an estate will vary depending on whether there is a Will or not. There is some initial procedure involved where the deceased did not have a Will and we will deal with that first.

Where the deceased did not have a Will:

  • Taking your instructions and discussing the likely extent of the estate
  • Explaining the process involved
  • Seeking information on:
    • The deceased’s family relationships
    • If the person attending the meeting is entitled to be appointed executor
    • If not, who is the person who is entitled to be appointed executor
  • Drafting the Petition for Appointment of Executor and lodging with the Sheriff Court
  • Determining if Prior Rights apply to the estate
  • Completing Bond of Caution and Proposal Form

In addition, the following will apply in all cases

  • Communicating with any organisation that holds the deceased’s assets and property (e.g. Insurers, Pension Funds, Employers, Banks etc.) to find out the value of the assets and property
  • Having a valuation carried out of any heritable property (e.g. a house or any other land and buildings) owned by the deceased
  • Determining the extent of the debts of the deceased
  • Communicating with the beneficiaries of the estate (full estate service only)
  • Determining if there is any Inheritance Tax liability and the extent of that liability
  • Determining the Legal Rights position
  • Preparing the Inventory of Estate for approval by the executor
  • Having the Inventory declaration signed by the executor(s)
  • Submitting the Inventory of Estate to the Sheriff Court in order to obtain Confirmation
  • Contacting the Executor on receipt of Confirmation

In addition, in our full estate service only

  • Collecting in all sums due to the estate and settling any debts of the estate
  • Drafting the Account of Charge and Discharge and having this approved by the executor(s)
  • Distributing the estate amongst the beneficiaries
  • Communicating and advising the executor throughout

Are there likely to be any additional costs?

Whilst we have provided a list of the steps we take in a typical case, sometimes there are additional steps we need to take and further work we need to carry out. The typical fee we have outlined does not include the following additional work:

  • Determining whether the deceased left a Will or not
  • Dealing with disputed about who should be appointed executor in the absence of a Will
  • Addressing any challenge to a Will
  • Establishing the location of any missing beneficiaries
  • Taking action to address and cure any defects in the Will
  • Drafting a Deed of Variation to alter the distribution of the estate
  • Dealing with any assets that are located outside Scotland
  • Dealing with share valuations and transfer of shares
  • Understanding and explaining complex trust arrangements contained in a Will
  • Addressing questions about insolvency of the estate
  • Dealing with vulnerable beneficiaries
  • Advising in Inheritance Tax issues
  • Selling or otherwise transferring heritable (house, land, buildings etc.) property
  • Advising on estate due to minor beneficiaries and dealing with it accordingly
  • Any negotiations with HMRC about Inheritance Tax matters
  • Dealing with the deceased’s business interests

This list provides an indication of the variety of types of issues we need to address when we are dealing with an estate. It is not an exhaustive list and there are may other issues that may come into consideration.

When an estate we are dealing with required additional work to be carried out that is not included within our typical fee, we will alert the executor to that fact. We will explain the reasons which may give rise to the additional costs and our proposals to deal with any of these issues.

The costs in appointing a Guardian

When an individual is not able to look after their affairs (and there is no Power of Attorney in place), a Guardianship application may be required. This involves applying to the Sheriff Court to have someone appointed to make decisions on and to look after the affairs of the individual.

We offer a fixed rate fee for this service of £3,000 (exclusive of VAT). That means the cost to you, inclusive of VAT amounts to £3,600.

Are there additional costs involved for appointing a Guardian?

In addition to our fee for this type of work, there will be additional costs incurred. We have to make a a Summary Application to the Sheriff Court to have a Guardian appointed. The Court Dues for making that application amount to £132.

In addition, prior to making the application to the Sheriff Court, we must obtain two medical reports. The cost of these can vary but are likely to be anywhere between £100 and £250 and once the order has been granted, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) (the OPG). The cost of registering the order with the OPG is £91.

An example of the likely cost of appointing a Guardian

Legal Fee £3,000.00
VAT £600.00
Cost of Medical Report (x 2) at, say, £175 each £350.00
Summary Application Dues to Sheriff Court £132.00
Registration Fee payable to the OPG £91.00
Cost of Bond of Caution (depending on the amount and value of property) £750.00
Total £4,923.00

What’s included in this cost for appointing a Guardian?

The example above includes the following:

  • Discussing the circumstances with you and taking your instructions
  • Advising you on the options
  • Having a Declaration completed by the proposed Guardian as to suitability
  • Seeking medical opinion on the individual for whom the guardian is to be appointed
  • Obtaining two separate medical reports
  • Obtaining a medical report from a Mental Health Office familiar with the individual’s case history
  • Preparing an inventory of assets
  • Drafting Summary Application to the Sheriff Court
  • Lodging the Summary Application and supporting documents in court and seeking a Hearing Date
  • Intimating the application to relatives and “interested parties” and the local authority
  • Attendance at the Hearing Date
  • Arranging Bond of Caution (if appropriate) following the grant of the Guardianship Order
  • Registering the Guardianship Order with the OPG

This is a brief outline of the steps involved in applying for a Guardianship Order. For a more detailed explanation of the steps we are required to take, you can follow a step by step guide on the Scottish Government’s website by clicking here.

In what circumstances might additional costs arise?

  • There are a number of circumstances where additional costs may be incurred. These might be where:
  • Someone objects to the Guardianship application
  • Another person competes for the Guardianship appointment
  • Medical reports need clarification
  • Supporting reports not being available within the prescribed timescales
  • Additional information being required by the Sheriff

This list is not exhaustive but is designed to provide an example of instances where additional costs might be incurred.

In the event that additional costs might be incurred, we will advise you of this when we become aware of it. We will explain the reason and nature of the additional costs and how we intend to deal with the underlying issues. We will provide you with our best estimate of the likely additional costs when the position becomes clear.

The costs of a seperation agreement

We understand that separating from a spouse or partner is extremely stressful with emotions running high. It is always very difficult to separate those emotions from the practicalities of any separation. We aim to provide you with clear, concise and practical advice to allow you to consider the options you have available. Following on from that, we will then move towards creating a separation agreement to reflect your wishes and seek acceptance of its terms from your former spouse’s or partner’s solicitor

We provide a fixed fee service for this area of work but, sometimes, that fixed fee might need to change. That can happen if there are elements of complexity come to light or if the arrangements become complicated. Should that occur, we will advise you of this.

Our fee for a preparing a Separation Agreement is £750 (exclusive of VAT). That means the cost to you, including VAT of 20% is £900.

Is the fee the only cost for a Separation Agreement?

There is an additional cost relating to the registration of the Separation Agreement once it has been signed. Once both parties have signed the Separation Agreement, we will then send it to the Books of Council and Session. The registration costs amount to £24 (inclusive of VAT) and the Registers will issue one extract following registration. In addition, usually two extracts of the Separation Agreement will be needed which will incur an additional cost of £48. That means the total costs for registration and obtaining extracts will amount to £72 (which will result in 3 extracted being provided).

The total costs of a Separation Agreement are as follows:

Legal Fee £750.00
VAT on the Fee £150.00
Registration and extract costs (3 extracts) £72.00
Total £972.00

What is included in your fee for a Separation Agreement?

When we prepare a Separation Agreement for a client, we will carry out the following work:

  • Take your instructions and discuss your situation
  • Advise you and outline your options
  • Communicate with your spouse or partner (or their solicitor, if they have appointed one)
  • Set our what you propose should happen regarding your separation
  • Enter into negotiations with your spouse’s or partner’s solicitors
  • Draw up the necessary Separation Agreement
  • Arrange for signature of the Separation Agreement by the parties
  • Register the Separation Agreement in the Books of Council and Session
  • Provide you with an extract of the Separation Agreement
  • Send an extract of the Separation Agreement to your spouse’s or partner’s solicitor

Does the cost outline cover all of the work?

We hope to carry out all of the work involved within the cost estimate we have provided. However, there are certain elements which are not included. These are:

  • Work in relation to pensions value calculations and discussions with actuaries
  • Lengthy and extensive negotiations in relation to residence and/or contact in relation to your children
  • Lengthy and detailed discussions and calculations of financial provision
  • Any property relates sales, purchases or transfers and relative mortgage security work
  • Any litigation that may arise as a result of the separation

This list is not exhaustive and should there be instances where additional time is spent as a result of complexity or complications in reaching an agreement with your former spouse or partner, we will alert you to the reasons for the additional work being required and discuss any potential additional costs.

General Business costs

We also provide legal advice and services that do not fall into the category of “consumer” legal services. For instance, we might be asked to provide advice on a general property matter, perhaps in relation to the title or boundaries or in relation to disputes with neighbours. Or we may receive an enquiry about changing or challenging a Will. These are just a couple of examples of the types of matters we can be asked to deal with.

In such circumstances, where “fixed fees” do not apply, our fee will be based on an hourly rate. In addition, it is unlikely that we will be able to let you have a fee estimate at the outset but as your case progresses, we will keep you advised and informed about the costs incurred. We will also provide you with our best estimate of the length of time it will take to complete your case, if this is at all possible. Much of what we will need to do for you will depend on receiving a response from and co-operation with third parties over whom we have no control.

We charge an hourly rate of £200 (exclusive of VAT) for work that falls into this category. That means the cost you will need to pay, including VAT, is £240.

In addition to our fee, you will need to meet any outlays or expenses required to complete your case. These will vary widely depending on the nature of your case. As soon as we become aware of such costs, we will advise you accordingly.

 

We also provide legal advice and carry out transactional work of a commercial or business nature. This type of work is not subject to the price transparency guidance issued by the Law Society of Scotland. You can view the range of commercial and business services we provide by clicking here. We will be happy to discuss the costs involved for this type of work with you whenever you need these services.

 

Does Wallace Quinn charge fixed legal fees?

For most of the types of personal and property work we carry out for clients we will charge fixed fees. In our fee pages for the different categories of work, we will indicate which services are covered by a fixed fee and which are not and if there are any additional charges involved and why.

We will confirm the legal fee and other costs involved when you engage us to carry out work on your behalf. However, as you read through the indicative costs contained within this fee guide, should you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss these.

What’s the difference between the legal fee, expenses and outlays?

The legal fee is what we charge you for doing the work on your behalf. However, in most types of work, there will be additional costs. These additional costs are charges we incur whilst we represent you or charges you must pay to other organisations but which we are obliged to collect to allow your transaction to proceed properly. We do not gain any benefit from the outlays you have to pay in the transaction.

In addition, our fee and expenses attract Value Added Tax (currently charged at 20%). This is a charge due to HM Revenue and Customs which we collect on their behalf. We must account to the Government for this charge and derive no benefit from it at all.

For an indication of the costs involved for the type of work you wish us to carry out on your behalf, please follow the links above.

 

If you would like any other information on our fees, or would like to discuss work that we can assist you with, please fill in the contact form on this page and one of our team will get back to you.