LAURENCE HOLMES CHARGES
Full details of how our charges are calculated are set out in our terms and conditions explaining the basis on which we carry out work.
In general, our fees are likely to depend on the work that is undertaken. The following are just some examples.
Solicitors divorce costs
A divorce involves the completion of certain items of paperwork which have to be filed with the courts.
There will firstly be the cost of any advice you obtain from a lawyer and their help in completing the divorce paperwork.
In dealing with a divorce itself, (not including any financial aspects or child arrangements), fixed prices are available for the divorce itself.
If you are divorcing someone
If you initiate the divorce you will be known as the petitioner. Your lawyer will need to prepare the divorce petition and certain other paperwork on your behalf. If you are initiating the divorce you will be asked to pay the Court fee, if you are the petitioner and you do not qualify for a Fee Exemption or Remission. In many cases we can claim a remission so that a reduced contribution is payable towards from the court fee, depending upon your income and assets. Aside from the court fee for the person beginning divorce proceedings we do this work for a fixed fee of £360, which includes the VAT.
Exemption from court fees
The courts levy a fee, currently £550.00. You may be able to claim an exemption from the court fees, depending upon your income and assets, we can advise you about this and complete the relevant form on your behalf to claim the exemption or remission from the court saying.
If someone is divorcing you
If you are the respondent in a divorce (your spouse has initiated divorce proceedings) and where the divorce is uncontested by you we offer a fixed fee of £150 to handle the divorce on your behalf. This includes our fees and VAT on our fees. You do not have to pay Court fees.
We deal with transfers of houses in connection with divorce proceedings, e.g., where the property is transferred from joint names into one parties' name as part of the financial settlement.
Transfer of equity of a freehold residential property
Our fees cover the work required on your behalf (not including the mortgage lender's solicitors fees or any fees for acting on behalf of your former partner who must be separately represented) required to complete the transfer of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry if we are dealing with this (unless it is dealt with by the mortgage lender's solicitors or you are the transferor) but not dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty).
The charges for the conveyancing work in connection with a transfer of equity of a freehold residential property into a sole name are as follows:
Conveyancer's fees: £825.00*
VAT @ 20%: £165.00
The conveyancing work will be billed for separately from the divorce and financial proceedings.
In addition, disbursements may be payable, including costs that may be payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. Land Registry fees depend upon whether or not transfer is pursuant to a financial (divorce) order and the value of the property being transferred.
Land Registry fees
If a house or land has been transferred pursuant to a divorce financial order the Land Registry fee could be as follows:
0 to £100,000 £40
£100,001 to £200,000 £60
£200,001 to £500,000 £80
We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)
This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC's website or if the property is transferred pursuant to a consent order ancillary to the divorce proceedings. If so, the transfer should be exempt from stamp duty.
* Our fee assumes that:
a. this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
b. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise
c. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation such as an ID form for/ by any unrepresented party.
Sale of a freehold residential property
If dealing with this, our fee would cover all of the work* required to complete the sale of a house, not including acting for the mortgage lender.
Conveyancer's fees and disbursements (on a sale)
- Laurence Holmes Conveyancing Fee: £825.00
- VAT @ 20%: £165.00
- Total: £990.00
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. For instance Land Registry fees of £6 are likely to be incurred to provide a copy of the title information to the buyer's solicitors.
How long will my house transfer or sale take?
How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 3 to 5 months.
It can be quicker or slower, depending on financial arrangements that need to be made.
Charges in connection with probate and estate administration
We carry out other work, including, for instance applying for a grant of probate on behalf of an executor, and, if required, collecting and distributing the assets for a deceased estate.
If we are solely dealing with the application for a grant of probate and not acting as Executor or completing a tax account or gathering information about the assets, costs are estimated at £1,200-£1,700 + VAT.
If we are dealing with everything or accepting an appointment as an Administrator or acting as an Executor, including collecting and distributing assets, total costs are estimated at £5,000-£9,000 + VAT.
The exact costs will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the above range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.
If we are handling the full process for you the price is for estates where:
- There is a valid will, and there is enough money available in the estate to pay all of the debts and liabilities
- There is no more than one property and no unforeseen complications arise in connection with the property, such as lost or missing title deeds or part of the property is unregistered or subject to any third party interests that cannot be removed or only removed with difficulty
- There are no more than 3 bank or building society accounts
- There are no other intangible assets or assets that cannot readily be realised due to any third party interests/ objection to the sale of any property
- There are 1-3 beneficiaries
- There are no disagreements between beneficiaries. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
- There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
- There are no claims made against the estate, such as by a mortgage lender or creditor
- Disbursements included in this fee:
- Probate application fee of £156.50 (expected to increase)
- Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£1 per beneficiary)
- £297.00 Post in The London Gazette and in a Local Newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
- Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.
Potential additional costs
- If there is no will or the estate consists of any property subject to any other interests (mortgages or trusts/ part of the property belonging to another person) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
- Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
How long will this take?
On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 6-18 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 12 weeks. However, sometimes there may be an advantage to taking longer to obtain probate. For instance, if a house is empty and awaiting sale Bristol City Council will sometimes not charge council tax until probate is granted. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 6-12 months. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which depends on our selling all of the assets and paying all the debts before distribution can be made.