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Your instructions: Instructions may be given to us in writing or verbally by Executors. A face to face meeting at the start of the administration is essential if at all possible (barring Executors who live abroad). We will also ask you to confirm in writing the terms of verbal instructions given to us if a meeting is not possible. If there is any change in your instructions, you must notify us immediately. If you wish anyone other than yourself eg a co-Executor or family member to give us instructions or information, we will require confirmation of this in writing too.
Conflict of Interest: In general, we cannot act for two or more parties if they have conflicting interests. Please advise us at the outset if you are aware of potential conflicts which may arise. If we decide that we can still act (i.e. if you are one of the exceptions to the general rule) we will confirm this to you in writing. An example of this would be when children have been excluded from a parent’s will and they wish to claim their Legal Rights.
Confidentiality: Information passed to us is kept confidential at all times and will not be disclosed to third parties unless specifically authorised by you or required by law.
Law Society of Scotland: Like all Scottish solicitors, we are members of the Law Society of Scotland and subject to its professional rules at all times.
Interest: Andersonbain will not lodge funds in a separate interest bearing client account. We will pay a sum equivalent to the interest which would have accrued for the benefit of the client where such sums would have earned more than £150.00 in accordance with rule 6.10 of the Law Society of Scotland Accounts Rules.
How long will it take: The nature of Executry work often makes it difficult to estimate precisely how long something will take to complete. When we discuss your requirements at the outset, we will also discuss time scales. We do attempt to meet these. We will try to deal with everything as quickly and efficiently as possible and above all correctly. Please remember that quite often the speed at which work can be completed is affected by the co-operation (or lack of it) from Estate fund holders, HMRC and the Sheriff Courts which is totally outwith our control especially dealing with a taxable Estate. Please also note that under Law Society Rules, we are allowed up to six months from date of death to investigate and lodge an Inventory for Confirmation purposes and settle any Inheritance Tax prior to applying for Confirmation. We cannot therefore finalise the administration of an Executry until six months have elapsed from date of death. However, pecuniary legacies and in some circumstances interim payments to residuary beneficiaries can be made within the six-month period.
Transaction Partner: We are committed to providing you with a good service and accordingly you will be given the name of the Partner who will have overall responsibility for your transaction (“the Transaction Partner”). You should be aware that your Transaction Partner may delegate aspects of the day to day responsibility of your transaction to appropriately qualified support staff. Wherever possible we will endeavour to provide you with name of any support staff involved in your transaction. The Transaction Partner will always have overall responsibility for your transaction. We reserve the right to makes changes to your Transaction Partner.
Cost: The basis on which we shall charge you fees for an Executry will either be a lump sum or at intervals which will wholly depend on the time spent carrying out the work. In assessing the fees, we take into account a number of important factors, including: the value of the transaction, the complexity and difficulty of the matter, the skill, knowledge and responsibility involved and the urgency of the matter.
Hourly rate: Our current basic hourly charge rate is £265 per hour for a Partner/Solicitor in Executry matters and £195 per hour for a Para-Legal (both hourly rates are exclusive of VAT). You will be notified as soon as possible of any increase in that hourly charge. However, these rates may be subject to an annual increase.
Cost of administration-Estimates: Any estimate that may be given will be a probable fee based on our experience of the work you have asked us to do. If the work turns out to be more complicated or takes longer than we anticipated, then we may require to increase our estimate to take account of this. We will inform you as soon as possible about this.
Reporting to you-Executry Account: We will issue a detailed Executry Account at the end of the administration of the Executry which will clearly show all funds received and monies paid out in the Estate and detailing the final cash balance due to the residual beneficiary/beneficiaries. The residue will only be paid to beneficiaries once our Executry Account has been approved by all the Executors.
Deduction of fees and outlays at source: Where we receive sums, which belong to the Estate, we shall be entitled to deduct from those sums all outstanding fees and outlays before sending the balance to the Residuary beneficiaries.
Incidental Financial Business: We are licensed by the Law Society of Scotland to carry on Incidental Financial Business (IFB). The IFB activities we provide are limited in scope. We are not authorised to carry on the above IFB activities by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Financial Conduct and Markets Act 2000.
Independent fee assessment: Our normal practice is to send our file either to The Auditor of the Court of Session or an independent Law Accountant who can provide a completely independent assessment and fix a fair fee for the legal work carried out for the Executors. Unless otherwise agreed, the Auditor’s/Accountant’s fee will be treated as an outlay and deducted from Executry funds held by us or settled by the deceased’s executor/personal representative/next of kin or family along with our audited fee.
Outstanding monies: You are entitled to change solicitors at any time, but you are responsible for the fees and other outstanding payments due to us until the time of change. We are entitled to hold any Executry files or other papers until payment has been received by us.
Money Laundering Regulations: The Money Laundering Regulations require us to be satisfied as to the identity of Executors. In order to comply with these Regulations, we must obtain proof of identity and other information in relation to these matters. As this is a statutory requirement, we have to reserve the right to withdraw from acting for you if you fail to provide us with the information requested of you and which is required in connection with our Money Laundering Procedures. We will attempt to do this electronically for which there is a charge of £16.67 plus VAT per person to reflect the cost to us. If we are unable to obtain the information electronically, we may require you to bring into our office your passport or other form of photographic ID together with a utility or similar bill evidencing your current address so that we may make and keep copies.
Complaints: In the unlikely event of dissatisfaction with any aspect of the work being carried out then the initial point of contact will be the Transaction Partner who will do all that he or she can do to address your complaint and rectify all matters. Before doing so, however, please be clear in your mind as to whether or not the difficulty has been caused by ourselves or by the actions of third parties. You will appreciate that if a third party has caused difficulties the problem is unlikely to have been of our making. Having said that, if a problem persists, or if you remain dissatisfied with the explanation provided, please contact the firm's Partner, Mr.Robin Leith (“the Client Relations Partner”), who will then review matters with you.
In the event you feel any complaint made by you to the Client Relations Partner has not been dealt with satisfactorily you are entitled to take up the matter with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, The Stamp Office, 10 – 14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG; Tel: 0131 201 2130; Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.