Kim Betts & Co

SOLICITORS

 

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WILLS

Conveyancing is the transfer of legal title of property from one person to another, or the granting of an encumbrance such as a mortgage or a lien.

Kim Betts & Co specialises in Conveyancing. This firm aims to make the process as stress free and easy to follow as possible.

On average it takes between six to eight weeks from agreeing with somebody that you will buy or sell. It can however be done more quickly than that.  You will always be invited to attend for one main meeting to go through your papers in person with Kim Betts in the office and to discuss any problems.

 

Click the links on the right for details on costs involved in Sale and Purchase of property, and to download our Property Buying and Selling guide.

Your Will lets you decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. You can decide who will benefit and also make provision for your children who may need guardians and trustees to look after them and their money and property. If you make a Will you can also make sure you don’t pay more Inheritance Tax than you need to. You can write in your preferred arrangements for your funeral.

You can write your Will yourself, but you should get advice if your Will isn’t straightforward.

You need to get your Will formally witnessed and signed to make it legally valid. Usually, therefore when you make your Will with Kim Betts & Co we will arrange for you to check it and sign it at our offices so you can be sure it is correctly witnessed and valid.

You should review your Will every five years and after any major change in your life, e.g.: getting separated or divorced; getting married (this cancels any Will you made before); having a child; moving house; if the executor named in the Will dies.

If you want to update your Will, you need to make an official alteration (called a ‘codicil’) or make a new Will.

If you die without a Will, the law says who gets what (the Intestacy Rules). So if you want to decide where your money goes on your death, not the government, then you need to make a Will.

Who will inherit your estate on your intestacy will depend on which relatives survive you. If your spouse survives you and you have no children they will inherit your estate, but if you have children, then your spouse will inherit the majority of your estate and your children will also inherit. You need to consult this firm to find out in detail what these rules are and how they affect you.

CONVEYANCING

  • Outgoings on a Sale

    Up to date copies of your title deeds

    variable £6.00 to £30.00

    Indemnity insurance                                           £20.00

    Bank charges if your mortgage if paid same day by CHAPS transfer or if the funds are sent to you on the completion of the sale of the property by bank transfer.

    £36.00

    Estate agents fees

    variable*

    Legal fees

    see quote

    * agreed with the estate agents direct at the time of sale.

  • Outgoings on a Purchase

    Stamp Duty or tax

    You can go on line to HMRC website where they have a stamp duty calculator which will calculate your stamp duty. If this is a second home for you the cost of the stamp duty tax is at a higher level. You can ask us for a quote.

    Land Registry fees

    You can go on line to the land registry site and they publish their fees which are dependent on the price you are paying for the property. Our quote will give you this price.

     

    Local authority searches

    The price varies dependent upon the Borough in which you are buying.

    usually £120 – £250

    Environmental search     approx. £38

    Land registry search as at 2016     £3

    Bankruptcy search per person     £2

    Only payable if you have a mortgage

    Indemnity Insurance     £20

    (£2,000,000 professional indemnity)

    Bank Charges     £36

    CHAPS transfer of purchase money to seller's solicitor

    Landlord's Charges (leasehold)     £25 – £250

    If you are buying a leasehold flat – charge for notifying  the landlord that you are the new owner of the flat

    Legal Fees     see quote

 

PROBATE

Probate is the legal process whereby a Will is "proved" in a court and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased.

The granting of probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under a Will. A probate court decides the legal validity of a testator's (person's) will and grants its approval, also known as granting probate, to the executor. The probated will then becomes a legal instrument that may be enforced by the executor in the law courts if necessary. A probate also officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), generally named in the will, as having legal power to dispose of the testator's assets in the manner specified in the testator's will. Also through the probate process, a Will may be contested.

Executor

An executor is the person appointed by a Will to act in respect of the estate of the Will maker (the "testator") upon his or her death. An executor is the legal personal representative of a deceased person's estate. The appointment of an executor only becomes effective after the death of the testator. After the testator dies, the person named in the Will as executor can decline or renounce the position, and if that is the case should very quickly notify the probate court registry accordingly. There is no legal obligation for that person to accept the appointment.

Executors "step into the shoes" of the deceased and have similar rights and powers to wind up the personal affairs of the deceased. This may include continuing or filing lawsuits to which the deceased was entitled to bring, making claims for wrongful death, paying off creditors, or selling or disposing of assets not particularly gifted in the Will, among others. But the role of the executor is to wind up the testator's estate and to distribute the estate to the beneficiaries or those otherwise entitled.

Administrator

When a person dies without a Will then the legal personal representative is known as “the Administrator”. This is commonly the closest relative, although that person can renounce their right to be Administrator in which case the right moves to the next closest relative. This often happens when parents or grandparents are first in line to become the Administrator but renounce their rights as they are old, don’t have knowledge of estate law and feel that someone else is better suited to the task.

Appointment of an administrator follows a codified list establishing priority appointees. Classes of persons named higher on the list receive priority of appointment to those lower on the list. Although appointees named in the Will and relatives of the deceased frequently receive priority over all others, creditors of the deceased and 'any other citizen of [that jurisdiction]' may act as an administrator if there is some cognizable reason or relationship to the estate. Alternatively, if no other person qualifies or no other person accepts appointment, the court will appoint a representative from the local public administrator's office.

Application Process

A death certificate and Will if any and full details of the deceased assets are all needed to deal with the process of obtaining probate. The application requires a tax form to be completed listing all the deceased assets and an oath to be prepared which the executor or administrator has to sign which gives certain assurances to the Court before it will grant the Probate or Letters of Administration if there is no Will.

We hope to be able to deal with this process within six months from the date of death as interest is payable on any tax not paid after that date. However, the timescale of the application will depend on  a variety of factors such as: the value of the estate;  how complicated the assets are to deal with;  whether there are any missing or unaccounted for assets and whether there are any foreign assets to deal with as well.

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POWERS of ATTORNEY

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

There may come a time when, because you are incapable of managing your property and financial affairs or personal welfare, you will need someone to do this for you. You can formally appoint a friend, relative or professional to hold a lasting power of attorney that will allow them to act on your behalf.

Lasting power of attorney (LPA) in England and Wales

A LPA has no legal standing until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian

  • A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint someone you trust as an ‘attorney’ to make decisions on your behalf.
  • It can be drawn up at any time while you have capacity, but has no legal standing until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
  • A registered LPA can be used at any time, whether you have the mental ability to act for yourself or not.

You can create two types of LPA:

Property and Affairs LPA

A Property and Affairs LPA allows you to choose someone to make decisions about how to spend your money and the way your property and affairs are managed.

Personal Welfare LPA

A Personal Welfare LPA allows you to choose someone to make decisions about your healthcare and welfare. This includes decisions to refuse or consent to treatment on your behalf and deciding where you live. These decisions can only be taken on your behalf  when the LPA is registered and you lack the capacity to make the decisions yourself.

 

Deputyship Orders – When are they needed?

When your loved ones do not have the mental capacity make their own decisions and if there is no Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney in place, then to enable you to handle their affairs you will need to apply to the court for a DEPUTYSHIP order.

There are two types of deputyship applications that can be made:

  • for decisions about property and financial affairs
  • for decisions about health and personal welfare

The proposed Deputy will need to complete a set of application forms which will then need to be submitted to the Court of Protection together with a medical report from a GP confirming your loved ones mental incapacity.  On most occasions a court hearing is not required provided that there are no objections from relevant third parties.  Once granted you usually will need to obtain a security bond for protection against any financial loss when acting as a deputy.  The Court of Protection will charge an annual supervision fee dependent on the level of supervision they consider necessary.  Our fees and the court fees are normally recoverable from the funds of your loved one once an order is made.

At Kim Betts & Co., we are able to deal with the application process for you with compassion, humility, understanding and patience.  We recognize that it can be difficult and intimidating time for you.   We offer a professional, reliable service tailored to your individual circumstances.

 

Ordinary Powers of Attorney

There are Ordinary Powers of Attorney that deal with one-off events such as selling a property whilst you are abroad. These are not made for long term situations. They will usually last a year or less in time. These can be drafted for you to deal with any situations when you are out of the country and need someone to be in the UK to sign on your behalf at your direction.

Kim Betts & Co

SOLICITORS