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Solicitor fee for acting on our behalf to set up deferred payment

Son_in_law

Registered User
Jan 27, 2016
1
Hi, my mother in law is in a care home and her money has all but run out apart from her property. We are in the process of arranging a deferred payment with the local authority and part of the application required us to provide details of a solicitor.

The solicitor has recieved correspondence from the LA and has indicated his fee will be £500 (I assume excluding Vat but I need to check) to act on our behalf.

We have no way of knowing if the fee is reasonable but this is in addition to the £478 the LA are to charge leaving my mothers finances in an even worse state.

Does anyone have experience of the solicitor fees for deferred payment and if so does the £500 look reasonable?
Thanks Martin
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,859
Chester
I don't have any direct experience of this but do know that a provincial city centre firm of solicitors may have a charge out rate of £200 to £300 an hour for a partner. A local High St one may be £100 an hour.

If you aren't happy try another firm for a quote. The charge rates vary area to area. This may well be the minimum fee this firm will do any work for.

I presume the property that you don't wish to sell is worth significantly more than £500 and therefore the value seems small in safeguarding this asset.

Even if it is a one off job, they still have to complete all the money laundering docs, and this takes a minimum of 2 hours chargeable time. As a firm of accountants we would not charge this on a large fee, but on a one off small job we would.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,869
North Manchester
>>>THIS DOCUMENT<<< gives an indication of the work the solicitor has to do. This is in addition to the know your client/money laundering work.

I think you have already instructed your chosen solicitor and as they have already received documents from the LA there will be a fee from the solicitor and probably the LA if you move to anther solicitor.
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,036
Staffs
Hi, my mother in law is in a care home and her money has all but run out apart from her property. We are in the process of arranging a deferred payment with the local authority and part of the application required us to provide details of a solicitor.

The solicitor has recieved correspondence from the LA and has indicated his fee will be £500 (I assume excluding Vat but I need to check) to act on our behalf.

We have no way of knowing if the fee is reasonable but this is in addition to the £478 the LA are to charge leaving my mothers finances in an even worse state.

Does anyone have experience of the solicitor fees for deferred payment and if so does the £500 look reasonable?
Thanks Martin
Hi Martin,

I Cannot help with regards to the fee but if your MiL does not have capacity and someone has Power of Attorney then there is no need to use a solicitor. The documents although "legal" are fairly straight forward.

The only reason I can see that the Local Authority has asked for one is if no one has Power of Attorney and your MiL still has capacity or she is not the sole owner of the property.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,869
North Manchester
"Can you explain what you mean as I haven't come across this with regards to my DPA application?"

Are you using a solicitor?
If not money laundering does not become involved.
If you are the solicitor has to make sure that any funds you are paying from are actually yours.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,859
Chester
The money laundering regs require that you identify and 'know' your client. They apply to solicitors, accountants, banks and anyone who undertakes cash transactions above a certain size I think. They were last updated in 2007 but if you work for one of these places you have to be retrained in them regularly, I don't regularly bring new clients in, so tend to ask someone else to guide me (ie I sat at the back and can't remember all the rules).

The identification bit is normally passport/photo driving licence and bank statement/utility bill with your address on. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/proof-of-identity-checklist/proof-of-identity-checklist

The get to know your client bit is to do with risk assessing them.

It is a criminal offence not to comply, we have a money laundering officer, and all queries are via him. I work for a firm of accountants and we are regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in this respect.
 

realist1234

Registered User
Oct 30, 2014
108
Martin - you said that your Mother in law's money had all but ran out. Can I assume she already had little savings (under £14k), and her only contribution to her care home fees has been from her income - pensions etc, and not savings?
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,764
Salford
Hi Martin, welcome to TP
The only solicitors who put there charge on line I could find quotes figures of:
"•£706 to set up and end the deferred payment agreement
•£80 once a year to cover the cost of managing the agreement
•£150 to revalue your home - every other year and when you've used half the amount you deferred or if the value of your home changes"
I've no experience of deferred payment but I can only say that (in my area at least) the council are pretty easy to deal with and in the first instance I'd speak to them and see what they need you to do to set it up.
I'm surprised you're "required" to have a solicitor, you can set up an Power of Attorney for health and finance or go to the Court of Protection without a solicitor, seems odd they ask for one here, unless they're doing it to keep there legal costs down by passing the buck to you.
The costs should be paid by your mother in law not you as she's the one entering the agreement in my view anyway, but as I say I've never done it.
K
 

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