Private Client Department – Services and Price Guide

Our friendly and helpful Private Client Team deal with Wills, Powers of Attorney and Executries.   When dealing with Executries, the team at Munro & Noble are experienced in handling all aspects and are able to provide you with expert assistance at what can be an extremely difficult time for you and your family following the death of your loved one. 

The work on private client matters will generally be carried out by Alpin Stewart, Neil Speight, Alison Foggo, Ian Donaldson and Michael Cockburn with the support of Morag Campbell, Sylvia Dow, Fiona O’Donnell and Suzanne Bebbington.  Alpin Stewart is the  Partner responsible for the Private Client Department.  Morag Campbell, Sylvia Dow, Fiona O’Donnell and Suzanne Bebbington and other office administration staff, can all be used as points of contact within the firm.

  • SERVICES
  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Executries – the winding up of Deceased Estates
  • COSTS FOR SERVICES PROVIDED
  • Legal Fees & VAT

Munro & Noble are entitled to charge fees for legal services provided to clients for all work undertaken on their behalf.  VAT at the applicable  rate at the time of issue of an invoice  is also chargeable.

  • Fee Earners’ hourly rates (exclusive of VAT)

Alpin Stewart, Partner                                                        £242

Alison Foggo, Senior Solicitor                                            £233

Neil Speight, Consultant                                                    £233

Ian Donaldson, Consultant                                               £233

Suzanne Bebbington, Paralegal                                      £186

Michael Campbell, Trainee Solicitor                                £152

Morag Campbell, P.A.                                                      £149

  • Outlays

Outlays, which are costs payable to third parties, may necessarily be incurred from time to time. Outlays include, but are not limited to, registration fees and Court fees. 

We may ask you for payment of outlays up front, but will usually arrange the payment of outlays on your behalf in the first instance. We find that this ensures  a more efficient and less disjointed process and takes some of the burden off you in terms of the paperwork and procedure involved.   The outlays we pay on your behalf will be invoiced to you either on conclusion of the matter or on an interim basis.

WILLS

We will take instructions from you and provide legal advice as to the best way to have your wishes carried out on your death and how best to protect your estate upon your death.

POWERS OF ATTORNEY

We will take instructions and advise you of the implications of Continuing and/or Welfare Powers of Attorney.

We will be happy to speak with you to assess your requirements and provide preliminary advice in relation to Wills and Powers of Attorney.   We will then provide a bespoke quote for the particular circumstances of each case.   As a guide, prices will be in the region of:

 Single clientA Couple (two clients)
Will (simple)£200£350
Will (complex)£300£500
Power of Attorney (POA)£200£350
Will simple & POA£350£650
Will complex & POA£400£750
Codicil£100£175

Please note that all of these sums are exclusive of VAT and  any outlays which are payable in addition to the fee.

Outlays payable could include fees for registering Powers of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian.

A ‘complex’ Will is one which includes trust clauses or more than 3 to 4 legacies or bequests to beneficiaries.

DECEASED ESTATES

Obtaining Confirmation to a deceased’s estate

Munro & Noble can assist  in the winding up of the deceased’s estate and  obtaining from the Court Confirmation to the estate and assets of the deceased. We can also assist  with regard to the ingathering and distribution of assets in accordance with the Will of the deceased.   

Munro & Noble will undertake in this regard to

  • Provide you with a solicitor who is experienced in the Private Client field and who will work on your file sensitively and diligently;  
  • Identify and work with the parties who have been appointed as the Executor(s) and beneficiary(ies) of the deceased’s estate; 
  • Identify the exact type of Confirmation application that will require to be submitted on your  behalf;
  • Assist you in obtaining (wherever possible and necessary) any documents which are relevant and required in order for the Confirmation application to be submitted;
  • Assist you, wherever possible, in completing any application for Confirmation and any relevant Forms which require to be submitted to HM Revenue & Customs on behalf of the estate;
  • Assist you in making an application to the Sheriff Court for Confirmation on your behalf; and
  • Assist you in the ingathering of the assets of the estate following on Confirmation being issued by the Court and the distribution of those assets to those entitled to share in the estate.

Munro & Noble’s costs for our service:-  

Munro & Noble charge legal fees for all work undertaken.  VAT is added at the applicable  rate at the time of issue of a fee note.  The fee charged depends on the work undertaken and will usually be between 1.75% and 2.75% of the value of the estate. 

If we only require to liaise with one executor and/or beneficiary and if there is no house owned by the deceased which requires to be attended to, and if the estate is of lower value, the legal fees will be towards the lower end of this range.

If there are  multiple executors and/or beneficiaries to be contacted and liaised with or if there is a house or more than one property and many other assets that require to be dealt with, or if the estate is of high value, the legal fees will be towards the higher end of this range

However, the exact fee payable will be entirely dependent upon the circumstances of your case. As such, our fees will require to be determined on a time and line basis based on the exact circumstances of your case and the size of the estate left by the deceased.

For work of this nature, fees are ordinarily assessed independently by an Auditor based on the work undertaken.  This is to ensure that the fee charged is fair and reasonable and can be fully justified by the Executor client to the beneficiaries in the case.  The Auditor’s fee is charged as an expense in the administration process.  For that reason fees vary, in that they are not assessed on a straightforward scale, but instead reflect the complexity and value of the work undertaken during the course of the administration. 

While we will usually render our account when the administration of an estate has been concluded, in some cases we may render fees on an interim basis.

Outlays (i.e. third party costs)

The following are examples of the outlays often incurred in an executry:-

  • Advertisement in the London Gazette and/or local newspapers in order to protect against any unexpected claim on the estate made by an unknown creditor
  • Fee for registering Will in the Books of Council and Session for preservation
  • Court fees payable in connection with obtaining Confirmation on the estate at the rate of:-
  • Estates up to £50,000.00                              No fee
  • Estates not exceeding £250,000                 £266
  • Estates exceeding £250,000                        £532
  • A fee of £8.00 is charged for each additional Certificate of Confirmation required.
  • There may be further outlays payable for registration of deeds and the like.  Simple deed registration normally is a fee to the Registers in the region of £20/£30, but fees for registering title deeds vary according to the value of the property. A figure can be provided once we have the relevant information regarding the value.

Such outlays are reviewed regularly, often on an annual basis.   Outlays will be invoiced to you at the rates we pay to the third parties concerned at the relevant time.

What kind of fee may an Auditor award?

Executry, Trust and other related work is submitted to the Auditor of Court in order to assess a fair fee for the work undertaken by the firm of Munro & Noble.  The basis of the assessment will be as follows:

Time spent on telephone calls, meetings or perusing papers will be charge in units, there being 10 units per hour, therefore each unit representing a period of 6 minutes.

Correspondence will be charged at 1.25 units per 125 words or part thereof.

Preparation of legal documents will be charged at 5 units per 250 words or part thereof.

Preparation of non-legal documents will be charged at 2.75 units per 250 words or part thereof.

Responsibility, not exceeding 0.5% of the value of the executry estate may be awarded at the discretion of the Auditor of Court, having due cognisance to the overall estate.

Responsibility of between 0.1% and 0.5% on the value of a conveyance of the heritable element of the estate to a beneficiary undertaken may also be awarded.

Commission between 0.5% and 1.5% will be awarded on sums uplifted from financial institutions holding funds belonging to the deceased.

Commissions of between 0.5% and 5% may also be awarded on the interest and dividends collected and distributed by the solicitor.

The unit rate in most circumstances will be that agreed in the Terms and Conditions of Business agreement entered into at the outset of the transaction.  The current rate applicable is £23.30 per unit which is reviewed annually and increased as deemed appropriate.

If no rate is agreed, the rate used will be that from time to time set by the Society of Sheriff Court Auditors which is based on a time cost survey conducted by consulting actuaries.

Please note  that the range of fees given above  is only in respect of estates where:-

  • A valid Will has been produced and Munro & Noble have the original ;
  • There are no more than 3 beneficiaries in respect of the estate;
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries as to how the deceased’s assets are to be distributed. If there is any dispute between beneficiaries which requires the Executor(s) to be provided with legal advice and guidance to the estate, this will be charged as a separate and independent fee and is likely to be charged by our Court Department on an hourly rate or time and line basis. Please refer to our Court Department/Civil Dispute section as to the costs that could be expected if a dispute were to occur.
  • Munro & Noble are not required to ingather more than 2 bank/building society accounts;
  • There are no assets of an unusual nature or which can be described as intangible or assets which have not been disclosed or ingathered;

Potential Additional Costs

If the deceased did not leave a Will (or if the Will was not a valid Will) or if the deceased’s estate consists of a significant number of assets (e.g. multiple bank accounts, Stocks, Bonds, Shares, or other investments), we would envisage that there will be additional legal costs and outlays in respect of your case. Please note that the costs involved in a matter such as this could be significant, depending on whether there is a dispute as to who the Executor to be appointed is, the nature of the estate involved and how that requires to be attended to. In a case such as that, we would require to provide you with a separate  estimate of the anticipated legal fees and outlays which can be expected in such matters once all of the relevant information/documentation has been provided to us to determine matters going forward.

Property Dealings

If we are required to attend to the transfer of Title or sale of any property forming part of the deceased’s estate, the legal fee for doing this is not included in the range of fees given above. A separate and distinct fee will be charged by our Conveyancing Department in line with our conveyancing scale of fees. Please refer to our Conveyancing Department costs section in this regard.

Timescales for Executry work

For estate administration, normally this would be expected to be concluded between six and twelve months, but again this varies considerably depending on what is involved in each individual case and in particular whether HM Revenue and Customs or another Government department makes an enquiry.  Cases involving assessment and payment of Inheritance Tax usually take significantly longer.

Matters generally take longer to administer if there is a need to resolve or adjust any position with HMRC due to processing times.

INHERITANCE TAX

Whilst from time to time we will be required to lodge an inheritance Tax declaration with HMRC as part of the executry process, we are not able or regulated to provide our clients with tax/tax planning advice.

If Inheritance Tax may be payable on an estate, we will provide you with guidance as to what we feel that sum should be based upon the assets of the deceased’s estate.

This sum is calculated on a case by case basis, and is dependent upon you being transparent with us about all matters relating to the deceased’s estate.  This includes, but is not limited to, the disclosure of all assets and all income received by the deceased – including funds from a liferent or trust upon which an income tax declaration or payment has previously been made.