We understand the importance of certainty about costs. We are committed to being open and upfront about costs to avoid any dissatisfaction or distress down the line. The relationship which we have with our clients is based on trust and transparency and, because of this, we feel that it is important to be as open as possible about costs from the outset.
We want to provide our clients with fixed fees for the work they ask us to do for them wherever we can. To allow us to do so, we need to properly understand your individual circumstances and talk to you about what we need to do for you.
The first step would be to meet with you to discuss your situation and to establish your objectives. This will normally involve discussing your family circumstances, reviewing your financial position and analysing your potential tax exposure. This initial meeting will be free of charge.
As part of this initial meeting, we will endeavour to provide you with an estimated fee quote for carrying out the work on your behalf. Following the meeting, we will provide you with a Letter of Engagement which will detail the service agreement between you and BTO and detail the anticipated cost for the work involved. We will not go ahead with the work until or unless you have approved that fee quote.
Below you will find indicative costs for the services which we offer. The costs detailed below are only illustrations, not definitive costs. This is because every legal case or transaction is unique, and the advice required depends on the specific circumstances.
Over and above our fees, sometimes outlays are charged and costs paid out by the Firm on behalf of the client to third parties. These outlays are, in almost every case, incurred as a necessary part of the work being done.
Please do not hesitate to contact one of our solicitors to discuss your requirements further and to arrange an initial meeting. In broad terms, these meetings are currently taking place via videoconferencing, such as Zoom, Teams, WhatsApp or Skype.
It is a common misconception that a Will is either unnecessary or, if necessary, is straightforward. In Scotland, the law of inheritance can be complex and very often the law applies in ways which may not be expected. Even where it would appear that matters are straightforward, we will inevitably have to discuss a number of issues with you, including your family circumstances and financial position, to ensure that you are properly advised on your options and the risks involved. If your family circumstances are more complex, or your instructions are more detailed, or there are tax or asset protection considerations, there is likely to be more work involved and a higher fee charged.
For Wills with a limited number of legacies and a straightforward division of residue, the fee is likely to be £300 for a single Will or £480 for corresponding Wills (both inclusive of VAT at 20%).
If the Will is to include trust provisions for your children or grandchildren and/or a guardianship clause, the fee is likely to be £420 for a single Will or £720 for corresponding Wills (both inclusive of VAT at 20%).
If the Will is to contain more extensive legacies or the division of residue is more complex, or if you wish to include additional trust or asset protection provisions, the fee is likely to be £600 for a single Will or £1,080 for corresponding Wills (both inclusive of VAT at 20%).
Please note that a single Will covers the estate of one person and corresponding Wills (often called mirror Wills) are separate Wills drafted for two people in the same terms (usually spouses or civil partners).
Our fees as detailed above include:
You may wish to discuss other matters such as Inheritance Tax planning, passing on your interest in any business, setting up a lifetime trust, asset protection, or the transfer of heritable property (buildings and land) into a trust. Any work associated with these matters is not included in the fees detailed above. If additional costs arise due to matters related to your own personal circumstances, we will discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity and we will advise you of any increase in price that may arise.
There are usually no outlays associated with the process of making a Will.
The SLCC, in an effort to increase understanding about the process of preparing a Will and the fees charged, have produced a Consumer Guide which can be accessed using the link below:-
There are various types of Powers of Attorney but the most commonly used these days is one prepared in terms of the Adults with Incapacity legislation. This type of Power of Attorney can allow an adult to appoint someone to assist them with their finances and administrative matters in the event of incapacity (or earlier if preferred). It is also possible to appoint a Welfare Attorney as part of the same process.
A Power of Attorney is often lengthy and complex and must be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the grantor. A straightforward Power of Attorney will require a meeting and initial consultation with one of our solicitors, after which the Power of Attorney will be drafted, completed and signed. The Power of Attorney must also be certified by one of our solicitors and, once the Attorneys have consented to their appointment, registered with the Office of the Public Guardian Scotland (OPG) before it becomes effective.
For a Power of Attorney covering both financial matters and welfare prepared in standard terms, the fee is likely to be £360 for a single Power of Attorney or £600 for corresponding Powers of Attorney (both inclusive of VAT at 20%).
If your requirements are more complex or additional costs arise due to matters related to your own personal circumstances, we will discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity and we will advise you of any increase in price that may arise.
Please note that a single Power of Attorney covers the affairs of one person and corresponding Powers of Attorney are separate Powers of Attorney drafted for two people in the same terms (usually spouses or civil partners).
There may be an additional fee if a home or hospital visit is required to take instructions or to have the Power(s) of Attorney signed. The outlay for registering a Power of Attorney is currently £81, charged by and paid to the OPG.
Where it is not possible or appropriate for a Power of Attorney to be put in place, the alternative is for a suitable person – who may be a family member or another – to apply to the Sheriff Court to be appointed as Financial and/or Welfare Guardian. This is a complex and very detailed court process involving the drafting and lodging of a Court application along with formal reporting by various parties, officials and personnel to satisfy the Court that the order is necessary and appropriate. It also involves personal appearance at court by the solicitor to conduct at least one formal hearing in front of the sheriff before the order is permitted and awarded.
The extent of work required cannot be specified in advance as it is dependent on many different factors unique to each case. As a result, we do not offer a fixed fee for this type of work and instead our Terms of Engagement letter will detail the hourly rate of the solicitor dealing with the matter upon which the fee will be charged. It is common for the application to request that any costs are settled from the estate of the adult, not the applicant.
Various outlays may arise, including Sheriff Court lodging dues, the cost of medical reports, and so on.
Executry is the name used by lawyers for the work required in winding up the estate of someone who has died. It is another area where it is difficult, and often impossible, to give accurate levels of fee in advance. The Terms of Engagement will normally detail the hourly rate of the personnel involved in the administration and the other charges which may be incurred. It is our standard practice to have our Executry files independently audited by a Law Accountant so that a fair and reasonable fee, which takes account of the work involved, is charged. It is the estate itself, not the family or the Executors personally, which pays our fees.
If a valid Will signed by the deceased is not available, then this will increase the work required and, in turn, the cost of the administration. There will also be additional outlays involved as it will be necessary to petition the Court to have an Executor appointed and a Bond of Caution will need to be obtained in most circumstances.
The work undertaken on behalf of the Executors may involve meetings and consultations between the family or Executors and one of our solicitors, collating and valuing the assets and liabilities of the estate, corresponding with financial and other institutions (such as banks, investment companies, share registrars, pension companies, DWP, HMRC and so on), preparing the necessary Court documents and forms in order to apply for Confirmation (being the Scottish equivalent of Probate), lodging the forms with the Sheriff Court, ingathering the financial estate, accounting to the Executors and beneficiaries, and distributing the bequests and residue amongst the beneficiaries.
There may also be a property to sell on the open market or transfer to a beneficiary. That work is not included in this example as it would be dealt with by our conveyancing department. If Inheritance Tax requires to be paid or additional exemptions claimed, the costs are likely to be significantly higher as there will be a great deal more work involved.
Outlays may include Sheriff Court Confirmation dues, currently £266 plus £8 for each individual asset certificate if needed.
The SLCC, in an effort to increase understanding about the administration of executries and the fees charged, have produced a Consumer Guide which can be accessed using the link below:-
BTO Solicitors is an all-service law firm and is consistently instructed by a range of clients in relation to a variety of cases or transactions. We often offer an initial consultation without charge for a discussion or meeting, though we reserve the right to charge for all services and advice. Please do not hesitate to get in touch to arrange an initial discussion or meeting with us – we look forward to hearing from you.
Personal Income Tax Return Forms are completed on an annual basis and detail the income received by you for the period from 6th April to the following 5th April of the following year. Not everybody needs to complete a tax return but, if you do, we can assist you with the process.
HMRC have also recently introduced legislation with regard to the disposal of a property which is not your principal private residence. If a gain has been made and is in excess of the annual Capital Gains Tax Allowance, you are required to report this to HMRC within 30 days of the date of completion of the settlement and make payment of any tax due.
For a standard personal tax return where you are reporting PAYE income, bank interest and/or gross dividend income, the fee is likely to be £354 (inclusive of VAT at 20%).
For a more complex personal tax returns where you are also reporting rental income and/or reporting capital gains, the fee is likely to be £594 (inclusive of VAT at 20%).
We are also able to assist with trust and estate tax returns. The extent of work required cannot be specified in advance as it is dependent on many different factors unique to each case so please contact us and we will discuss your requirements in greater detail in order to provide you with an estimate of likely costs.
There are usually no outlays associated with the process of preparing and lodging a personal tax return.
You can reach us on our contact page or by calling us at 0141 221 8012 or 0131 222 2939
Yes, we do. Appointments can be made to suit your needs, including in-person visits observing social distancing guidelines, or remote appointments using tools like Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Please contact us or call 0141 221 8012 to discuss further.
Yes, we have clients all over Scotland and we can also help you if you are an ex-pat living abroad or if you require help with a cross border or international legal issue. As we are part of BTO Solicitors LLP, an independent law firm based in Scotland, we can help you with any legal issue you, your family, your business or organisation is faced with.