Wills and what they cost

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Pennyfarthing
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Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:34 pm

Wills and what they cost

Post by Pennyfarthing » Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:30 pm

I was listening to a radio prog the other day about wills. A guy rang in and said he was the executor of his late mothers will and as he did not feel very confident he got a solicitor to sort it. He was complaining that despite it not being complicated (for a solicitor that is!) he was charged £2700 and it took a year to sort it.

He felt this was excessive and also was surprised that there was a percentage charge in it based on the value of her estate. He considered this unfair.

Unfortunately (due to a phone call to me) I missed the reply to that bit (anyone throw any light on that??) but he then said that a friend suggested he contact the Law Society and he did and got £700 knocked off his bill, very easily. They got a spokesperson from the L.S. on air and he said that you must get in straight away with your query and you will more than likely be successful.

He said the hourly solicitors charge is about £160. This L.S. guy gave some very helpful advice - like, check out a few before deciding, go on recommendation if you can and if their office is untidy and there are files all over the place .... avoid them!! He also said you can reduce your bill considerably on things like conveyancing if you ask for a junior person to deal with your work. Unless you ask, they don't usually offer. He said people are often "in awe" of solicitors and rather than ask for ways to cut costs, just go along with what they say.

He was like a breath of fesh air!! :D

Conveyancer
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:19 pm
Location: Andalucía

Post by Conveyancer » Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:02 am

If you wish to challenge your solicitor's costs in a non-contentious matter see here for full details: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/choosingan ... icates.law

I am inclined to agree that on the whole solicitors do overcharge for probate (dealing wth estates). There is some merit in the argument that the amount of the costs should bear some relation to the size of the estate, but it can be disproportionate when the value of the estate is high, but the number of assets is low.

You need to be careful about asking for a junior to deal with your matter - it depends what it is. I have said elsewhere that a lot of routine residential conveyancing is dealt with by unqualified, but hopefully trained, staff. Anyway, when it comes to residential conveyancing you should be able to find a solicitor or licensed conveyancer who will give you a firm quote (not to be confused with an estimate!).

Pennyfarthing
Posts: 402
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:34 pm

Post by Pennyfarthing » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:58 am

Great advice, as always Conveyancer.

Regarding your comments "a lot of routine residential conveyancing is dealt with by unqualified, but hopefully trained staff". ....... that's fine if you are CHARGED for their (cheaper) time and not £160 an hour!! As I said the guy from the L.S. pointed out that you should ASK for a junior member of staff to do it - so hopefully if you do so, you should get a quote based on that and save yourself a lot of money.

I have also posted previously about a Licensed Conveyancer who did THE best ever job for us about 14 years ago. He charged £99 for doing sale of one house and purchase of another. He gave me a firm quote, kept me well informed at all times, was polite and helpful on the phone. If my memory serves me right, I rang a few Solicitors and they were asking £300 - £400 for exactly the same. I was told I was getting a "personal service" by one of the solicitors I spoke to when I queried the charge. :?

I could not fault my Licensed Coveyancer and recommended him to loads of other people and they were all equally satisfied. :)

Conveyancer
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:19 pm
Location: Andalucía

Post by Conveyancer » Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:38 pm

Hourly rates should not come into it when you are getting a quote for residential conveyancing.

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