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Solicitor Fees

In some residential property, commercial/company matters as well as will-writing and probate we offer a competitive fixed fee for dealing with the matter.

In all other cases, our fee depends on the complexity of your case and we will provide you with an estimate and keep you appraised as to costs as your case progresses.

You may find other firms that charge less, but none delivers better value for money.

Conveyancing
Wills and LPA’s
Probate

Conveyancing

Below is a brief summary of the expertise our conveyancing team have together with a guide to estimate the fees you will likely need to pay:

Jane Meakin – Jane is a solicitor and head of the residential property department. She qualified in 1988 and worked for many years in London and then in a large Chester Practice. Jane has particular expertise in residential leasehold property.

Rhian Thomas – Rhian is a solicitor and partner at Storrar Cowdry.  She qualified in 1997 and worked for many years at large Chester legal practice before moving to Storrar Cowdry in 2014.  Rhian has specialised in Residential Property throughout her legal career.  She is a fluent Welsh speaker and has expertise in all aspects of residential property ranging from country properties to high value flats and houses in London.

Daniel Stear – Dan is a solicitor and partner at Storrar Cowdry. He is experienced in all aspects of residential property work and acts for many investor clients. He qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and headed up the residential property department in a firm in Liverpool before moving back to Cheshire.

Danielle Richards (Paralegal) – Danielle is a law graduate and an Associate Member of CILEx.  Danielle joined the practice in 2017 and deals with residential sales and purchases and re mortgages and legal administration of large apartment development and estates (block management).”

Why might our Conveyancing fee vary?

Factors that may result in a change from the fees indicated below include:

  • Where the complexity of the title requires additional investigation, re-drafting of deeds or reporting to interested parties so as to ensure that the property is good and marketable and/or we are able to give a clear Certificate of Title to a proposed mortgage lender
  • Where the mortgage lender instructs its own solicitors and we are required to attend to additional enquiries raised by that firm
  • Where we are required to expedite matters.

Before you commit to paying, we will explain to you any variance from the indicative fee if this is apparent from the outset. We will also keep you updated at all times if any of these, or other, factors are likely to result in an increase in our fee.

Property Purchase Fees

Purchase Price (£)Fee (ex VAT)
0-200,000 £875.00
200,001-500,000£1,100.00
500,001-750,000£1,245.00
750,001- 1,000,000£1,325,000
above 1 millionnormally 0.25% but please call to speak to a property solicitor.

What additional charges will arise?

Add £100 plus VAT to the fees estimate for leasehold house purchases
Add £200 plus VAT to the fees estimate for leasehold apartment purchases
Add £100 plus VAT to the fees estimate if buying with a mortgage

What other costs may arise?

You may have to pay certain expenses, taxes and other costs, in addition to those set out above. To the extent that such costs relate to amounts that we must pay to third parties, they are known as “disbursements”. Any other costs, expenses and disbursements most likely to arise are as follows:

Legal & Admin FeesFee (ex VAT)
Bank Transfer Admin Fee £30.00
Simple Charge Document £200.00
Declaration of Trust £250.00
Case Management Admin Fee £35.00
Additional Fees for New Build Properties £250.00
Help to Buy Equity Loan£250.00
Help to Buy ISA£50.00
Lifetime ISA£75.00
Disbursements / Payments to Third Parties Fee (ex VAT)
Land Registry Feevariable – see online calculator on Land Registry website
Search Pack £250.00 – £400.00 depending on charges levied by Local Authority
Bank’s Charges Per Money Transfer £12.00
Bankruptcy Search £2.00
Land Registry Official Search £3.00

Property Sale Fees

Sale Price (£)Fee (ex VAT)
0-200,000 £850.00
200,001-500,000£1,025.00
500,001-750,000 £1,200.00
750,001-1,000,000£1,275.00
above 1 millionnormally 0.15% but please call to speak to a property solicitor.

What additional charges will arise?

Add £150 plus VAT to the fees estimate for leasehold property sales
Add £75 plus VAT to the fees estimate if redeeming a mortgage

What other costs may arise?

You may have to pay certain expenses, taxes and other costs, in addition to those set out above. To the extent that such costs relate to amounts that we must pay to third parties, they are known as “disbursements”. Any other costs, expenses and disbursements most likely to arise are as follows:

Legal and Admin Fees Fee (ex VAT)
Bank Transfer Admin Fee £30.00
Case Management Admin Fee £35.00
Additional Fees for Leasehold Flat / Apartment £100.00
Disbursements / Payments to Third Parties Fee (ex VAT)
Bank’s Charges Per Money transfer £12.00
Official Copies (Freehold) £6.00
Official Copies (Leasehold) £12.00

Remortgages

Remortgage Cost (£)Fee (ex VAT)
0-200,000£875.00
200,001-500,000£1,025.00
500,001-1,000,000£1,300.00
above 1 millionPlease call to speak to a property solicitor.

Timescale and key stages of the process

These are the key stages of the conveyancing process in a sale:

1) Taking your instructions
2) Obtaining details from your mortgage lender
3) Completion by you of Property Information Forms
4) Obtaining a copy of the registered title from the Land Registry
5) Sending draft contract and supporting documents to the buyers’ conveyancer
6) Responding to enquiries
7) Agreeing a completion date and exchanging contracts
8) Completion.

These are the key stages of the conveyancing process in a purchase:

1) Taking your instructions
2) Receiving a draft contract and supporting documents
3) Receiving a mortgage offer
4) Carrying out searches and title investigation
5) Preparing a property report for you
6) Executing documents and provision by you of a deposit
7) Agreeing completion date and exchanging contracts
8) Completion.

A transaction of this sort will typically take 8-10 weeks to complete, but this may vary.  Typical factors which may influence the duration include:

1) If the property is leasehold and/or additional enquiries need to be raised of third parties
2) If the property has not previously been registered at the Land Registry
3) Where the title is found to be defective and not acceptable for lending purposes in its current state.

If you wish to re-mortgage your property, the key stages are:

1) Taking your instructions
2) Carrying out searches and title investigation
3) Receiving a mortgage offer
4) Executing documents
5) Agreeing completion date and requesting mortgage funds
6) Completion.

A re-mortgaging transaction will typically take 6-8 weeks to complete, but this may vary. Typical factors which may influence the duration include:

1) If the property is leasehold and/or additional enquiries need to be raised of third parties
2) If the property has not previously been registered at the Land Registry
3) Where the title is found to be defective and not acceptable for lending purposes in its current state.

Whatever your transaction, we will keep you updated at all times if any of these, or other, factors are likely to result in delay.

Who will be dealing with your transaction?

The transaction will typically be handled by a fee-earner who is a solicitor or Paralegal,  in our Residential Property team. A solicitor acting for you may be described in correspondence as a “Partner”, or a “Solicitor”.  Our paralegals are not (yet) solicitors, and usually have no other formal legal qualification.

We will always ensure that the fee-earner acting for you has the requisite level of experience to handle your transaction competently. In any event, all work will be supervised by a Partner, being the most senior member of the team allocated to you.

Once you know who will be in the team allocated to your transaction, you will be able to find out more information about the team by visiting the Residential Conveyancing section on our website.

Wills, Probate and LPA’s

At Storrar Cowdry our experienced Solicitors will handle your case and ensure that it is tailored to your situation.

Every estate differs and it is difficult to be precise about our charges but we aim, here to give you an illustration of our costs.  We will give you a more detailed letter of engagement when we start acting for you.

Below is a brief summary of the expertise our wills and probate team have together with a guide to estimate the fees you will likely need to pay:

Louise Eccleston – Louise qualified as a Solicitor in 1993 and since then has advised clients in relation to their Wills, the administration of both straightforward and complex estates, complex Inheritance Tax planning and Court of Protection matters.

Paul Coombs – Paul started working for Storrar Cowdry in 2012 having previously worked for a large regional firm. He qualified in 2009 and has specialised in Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning since then.

Gillian Knowles – Gill joined Storrar Cowdry in 2020, having worked in one of the largest private client firms in Cheshire for many years. Gill qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and has a wealth of experience and technical knowledge in relation to private client law.

Marie Ansbro – Marie joined Storrar Cowdry in 2013 after spending 25 years at another well respected Cheshire law firm.  After her move to Storrar Cowdry as a Paralegal, Marie was delighted that many of her former clients followed her and she continues to work on their matters.

Advice and preparation of a Will:

When we discuss your Will with you we prefer to discuss this face to face, or if you live some distance away, by phone conferencing.

Our aim is to tailor your Will to your particular requirements and to give you advice on the best ways to achieve your goals.

For one individual preparing a Will we charge £400 + VAT

For a couple preparing Wills together we charge £500 + VAT

The costs given above do not include the following, but we can advise you of these and give you an estimate of our additional charges should these be suitable for your needs

  • Additional trust structures within your Will
  • Inheritance tax planning
  • Severing the joint tenancy of a property or other related property matters
  • Advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney – including registration with the Office of the Public Guardian.  We are happy to provide separate cost information for this transaction.

If we are also drafting and registering Lasting Powers of Attorney for your Property & Financial affairs and for your Health & Welfare our fees are

  • £500 plus VAT for one
  • £700.00 plus VAT for two
  • £1,100.00 plus VAT for four LPAs (both types for two clients)

For each Lasting Power of Attorney the court charges a fee of £82.00. However if your income is less than £12,000 per person the court will charge £41 per application, we need to complete additional forms to demonstrate this.

These costs also do not include travel time and costs to come and see you, should you require a home visit.  Again we will be pleased to give you an estimate of these fees, if this service is needed.

Probate

At Storrar Cowdry, our fees are calculated  on a time spent basis, unlike some other firms who charge a fixed percentage which includes an ‘uplifted amount’ known as the value element.

Our Probate Team charge at the hourly rate agreed with you at the beginning of the matter and you only pay for work actually carried out on your behalf.

Our hourly rates for the members of the Probate Team who would carry out this work are as follows:

Solicitor – £240 plus VAT

Paralegal – £165 plus VAT

Our rates are reviewed annually and any changes notified to clients.

Key stages and scope of work covered

The key stages of the work involved in administering an estate are as follows:

• Valuing the assets and liabilities in the estate;
• Completion of the relevant inheritance and income tax forms and payment of tax;
• Obtaining the Grant of Representation;
• Collecting in the assets of the estate;
• Settling any debts and liabilities of the estate;
• Preparation of estate accounts; and
• Distribution of the assets.

The average timescales involved are as follows:

• From initial instruction to receipt of the Grant of Representation: 3-6 months
• Collecting and distributing the assets: 3-6 months

Total timescale therefore is normally 6- 12 months for the whole process. There are a number of factors which affect both overall cost and timescale for the administration of the estate. Below are the most typical of these:

• Whether or not inheritance tax is payable;
• The nature and number of assets comprised in the estate;
• Whether all beneficiaries are easy to trace;
• If there is a property in the estate and if so, how long it takes to obtain a sale of this property;
• Whether complicating factors arise (see below for more detail on these).

It is therefore difficult for us to give an accurate estimate of the costs involved and the timescale without an initial face to face or telephone meeting where we can take more detailed information from you. Storrar Cowdry offer the first meeting on a no obligation basis. If you decide to instruct us then the cost of that meeting is then factored into
the overall cost estimate.

We are able to give some broad guidance on estate costs, where all of the deceased’s assets are located entirely within the UK and no disagreement has arisen, or will arise, between any potential recipients of assets of the estate. Please note the costs for the sale of a property are additional to the costs quoted below.

Administration of an estate:

Example 1

A case where there are assets in the deceased’s sole name and we help with the application only for a Grant of Probate.  Our work would be:

  • The preparation of the short form of declaration to H M Revenue and Customs for Inheritance Tax
  • The application to the Court for the Grant of Probate (an Oath for Executors or Administrators)
  • Sending the Executors the Grant of Probate for them to continue to collect in the deceased’s assets.

The costs anticipated for this would be £850 plus VAT.

For all applications there will be the standard external fees of

  • the Commissioner to “swear” the court application £7 per Executor and
  • the Court fees of £155 plus 50p per additional copy Grant (if obtained at the same time)
  • H M Land Registry search fees to check registered titles of £3 per search

If this estate has an on-going trust, such as a Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust, to administer then additional advice and work relating to this trust would likely to be in the region of £900 – £1,000 plus VAT.

Example 2

A case where there are assets in the deceased’s sole name and the need for a Grant of Probate would involve:

  • The preparation of the short form of declaration to H M Revenue and Customs for Inheritance Tax
  • The application to the Court for the Grant of Probate (an Oath for Executors or Administrators)
  • Collecting in the assets once a Grant of Probate is issued
  • Accounting to the beneficiaries for the assets in the estate including income paid after the date of death
  • Preparing full estate accounts and making distributions to the beneficiaries

The costs anticipated for this would be in the region of £2,000 to £4,000 plus VAT.  The variation in fees may depend on the number of assets involved and the complexities of these assets.  For all applications there will be the standard external fees of

  • the Commissioner to “swear” the court application £7 per Executor and
  • the Court fees of £155 plus 50p per additional copy Grant (if obtained at the same time)
  • H M Land Registry search fees to check registered titles of £3 per search

If this estate has an on-going trust, such as a Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust to administer then additional advice and work relating to this trust would likely to be in the region of £900 – £1,000 plus VAT.

Example 3

A case where there are assets in the deceased’s sole name and a need for a Grant of Probate would involve:

  • The preparation of a full declaration to H M Revenue and Customs for Inheritance Tax but where no Inheritance Tax is actually payable
  • The application to the Court for the Grant of Probate (an Oath for Executors or Administrators)
  • Collecting in the assets once a Grant of Probate is issued
  • Accounting to the beneficiaries for the assets in the estate including income paid after the date of death
  • Preparing full estate accounts and making distributions to the beneficiaries

The costs anticipated for this would be in the region of £2,000 to £4,500 plus VAT.  The variation in fees may depend on the number of assets involved and the complexities of these assets.  For all applications there will be the standard external fees of

  • the Commissioner to “swear” the court application £7 per Executor and
  • the Court fees of £155 plus 50p per additional copy Grant (if obtained at the same time)
  • H M Land Registry search fees to check registered titles of £3 per search

If this estate has an on-going trust, such as a Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust to administer then additional advice and work relating to this trust would likely to be in the region of £900 – £1,000 plus VAT. 

Example 4

A case where there are assets in the deceased’s sole name and a need for a Grant of Probate would involve

  • Corresponding with all asset holders and creditors
  • The preparation of a full declaration to H M Revenue and Customs for Inheritance Tax with  Inheritance Tax being due
  • Advising on the payment of Inheritance Tax before the Grant of Probate can be issued.
  • The application to the Court for the Grant of Probate (an Oath for Executors or Administrators)
  • Collecting in the assets once a Grant of Probate is issued
  • Negotiations with H M Revenue for Inheritance Tax or adjustments to the Inheritance Tax calculations
  • Accounting to the beneficiaries for the assets in the estate including income paid after the date of death
  • Preparing full estate accounts and making distributions to the beneficiaries

The costs anticipated for this would be in the region of £12,000 to £15,000 plus VAT.  The variation in fees may depend on the number of assets involved and the complexities of these assets.  For all applications there will be the standard external fees of

  • the Commissioner to “swear” the court application £7 per Executor and
  • the Court fees of £155 plus 50p per additional copy Grant (if obtained at the same time)
  • H M Land Registry search fees to check registered titles of £3 per search

If this estate has an on-going trust to administer then additional advice and work relating to this trust would likely to be in the region of £1,000 – £2,500 plus VAT.

Additional factors which will affect the fees involved

There are a number of issues or additional pieces of work which can arise during or out of estate administration which will incur additional costs and mean the timescale for completion will be affected. If any of these points arise during the course of
the matter, we will contact you and agree a costs estimate and give a likely timescale to deal with the issues:

• Investigation into the estate by the Department of Work and Pensions. This is automatic where a deceased person has been in receipt of Pension Credit or any means tested benefit prior to their death;
• Missing beneficiaries;
• Missing assets;
• Problems with overseas assets;
• Complex assets such as publishing or intellectual property rights;
• Disagreements between executors and/or beneficiaries;
• Claims brought against the estate;
• Claims pursued on behalf of the estate to recover assets;
• Complex tax issues;
• Variations or alterations to the terms of the Will, intestacy or any trusts arising under the Will;
• Establishment and administration of an ongoing Will trust;
• Additional tax planning advice for beneficiaries of the estate.

Disbursements

You may have to pay certain expenses, taxes and other costs. To the extent that such costs relate to amounts that we must pay to third parties, they are known as “disbursements”.

The costs and expenses most likely to arise are as follows:

• Probate Court Fee – £155
• Additional copies of the probate for each asset holder – 50p each
• Land Registry search – £3
• Missing asset search – £135 +VAT
• Legal notices to creditors – est £200 + VAT
• Bankruptcy searches – £2 per name searched

Payment of our fees

Once we are instructed in the administration of an estate, we send detailed client engagement letters to the executors of the estate for agreement.

Our first invoice is not submitted until we make the application for the Grant of Representation. After that the file will normally be invoiced monthly and a costs update provided with each invoice. These invoices are then settled from the estate assets as we collect them in.

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