Glossary of terms

Sometimes legal terminology can be confusing. We aim to explain things clearly so you understand what is happening at each stage of the process.

Below is a glossary of terms that you might find useful. If you are unsure about any terminology that we use, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to explain in more detail.

Administering the Estate – Taking the necessary steps in relation to a deceased persons estate to call in all of the assets, pay all liabilities, prepare and file tax returns, address any claims and distribute the monies to the appropriate beneficiaries.

Arbitration – A method of resolving disputes which involves a third party mediator actively assisting parties to negotiate an agreement. A mediator can only assist parties to reach an agreement they cannot impose a solution.

Asset Holders – Banks or Financial Institutions with whom the deceased held accounts or investments.

Beneficiaries – The people named in a will who are to receive a share of the estate by way of inheritance.

Creditors – People or organisations who are owed money.

Disbursements – Expenses incurred during the course of our legal work. We will generally ask that you pay the fee to us before we incur the expense on your behalf. This generally includes expenses such as fees payable to the Court, Land Registry or Barristers on your behalf.

E-Conveyancing Fee – We use an online system for all our property sales and purchases. This enables us to ensure that all relevant tasks, such as ordering searches, submitting applications for registrations and preparing contract documents, can be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. This also enables our clients to log into our system in order to see what progress has been made. We charge a fixed fee for use of this system.

Electronic Money Transfer fee – In order to transfer money electronically we have to carry out specific administrative tasks, including checking bank details and obtaining authority. We charge a fixed fee for this service.

Environmental Search – This is a report regarding the likelihood of the land upon which a specific property is constructed being classed as contaminated based on historic use of the site. This report also includes information in relation to risks of flooding and ground instability.

Executors – The people named in a will who are responsible for administering the estate.

Fittings and Contents Form – This is a questionnaire about items within the property to ensure that it is clear to the purchaser what is included within the agreed sale price. This will be sent to you at the beginning of your transaction.

Grant of Probate – A grant of probate is a legal document giving authority to executors appointed within a will to deal with a deceased persons estate.

Id Check Fee – In order to satisfy the Anti Money Laundering Regulations we carry out online verification of all identity documents received and also check the records of politically exposed persons. We charge a fixed fee for this work.

Inheritance Tax Threshold – The limit above which tax will be payable on a deceased persons estate, currently £325,000.

Lasting Power of Attorney – Further information is available on our Lasting Power of Attorney page.

Letters of Administration – A grant of Letters of Administration is a legal document giving authority to individuals to deal with a deceased persons estate where there is no will or where the will is inadequate or invalid.

Local Authority Search – This is a search of the records of the local authority in relation a specific property and includes information in relation to planning , building regulations and ownership of roadways.

Mediation – A method of resolving disputes which involves a third party mediator actively assisting parties to negotiate an agreement. A mediator can only assist parties to reach an agreement they cannot impose a solution.

Oath Fee – Fee payable to an independent solicitor to witness someone swearing an oath on the bible or other religious text, sometimes required in order to obtain a Grant.

Office Copies of the Title Register – This relates to our obtaining copies of the current title register for registered land from the Land Registry.

Probate Court Fee – Fee payable to the Probate Court in order to obtain a Grant.

Sellers Property Information Form – This is a questionnaire about the property that is being sold that all sellers are required to complete in order to sell their properties. This will be sent to you at the beginning of your transaction.

Water and Drainage Search – This is a search of the records of the water company in relation to a specific property and includes information in relation to whether the property is connected to mains water and sewerage.

How can we help you?

We offer straightforward legal advice and assistance for clients in relation to legal matters for both individuals and businesses.

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