Any time you buy, sell, or inherit property, conveyancing is involved. You’ll need a professional conveyance in order to complete the entire process of transferring property, or a conveyancing solicitor. They will be responsible for making sure you have fulfilled your legal obligations as you work through the process of selling or buying.
You’ll need to hire someone in order to complete the purchase or sale and that can be a lifesaver. It’s so much simpler to let someone else handle all the details of the sale. Of course, you’ll be consulted on the important factors, but your conveyance solicitor will handle everything else for you and will only bother you for things that actually need your input. This is a big advantage of having a solicitor.
What Does a Conveyancer Do?
Still curious as to why you need a conveyance solicitor? They are an essential part of any real estate deal and will help you manage everything legally. However, if you really want to break it down, here is exactly what a solicitor will do for you.
For the Seller:
The conveyancer will prepare the Contract of Sale for you and will include any conditions you might want. You will also need a Vendor’s Statement, which can be developed with the help of the solicitor, who will do the necessary title and planning searches. You need to disclose certain things, according to law, so the searches are an essential part of making the sale.
There may be other documents that are requested, so you should be prepared to give these up, as well. The conveyancer can provide any and all documents needed to make sure the entire process goes smoothly.
For the Buyer:
First, the conveyancer solicitor will open the purchase file and give you a letter with the terms of business. You’ll need to include basic information like your address, etc. If you need a mortgage, you’ll have to include information on your real estate agent and photo ID, as well as mortgage specific information.
The next step in purchasing a house, is to do a property survey, which will note any potential issues on the land. If you decide not to purchase after this, you can do so, but it’s a good idea to carefully review everything from the water and electric pathways to the general map of the property. If there are any right of ways or similar arrangements that are legally binding, you will need to know this before you purchase.
The solicitor will also need to go over all the paperwork received from the seller’s conveyancer. They should check everything and direct any questions to the other solicitor. You’ll need to abide by the requirements that are laid out by the seller, as well, and if you can’t, then you might need to propose alternate terms.
Once everything is properly completed, you’ll be presented with the documents that you need to sign and return. Your conveyancer solicitor will let you know whether you can simply sign, scan, and email the contracts, or if you need to have an original signature on the papers. Deeds require an original signature, for example, but most other forms can be signed and sent electronically.
The solicitor will also work out a move in or completion date for you with the seller. This can take some time and often requires going back and forth a few times. Once you have a date that everything can be completed, it’s all good. You can relax and pay your first deposit.
Having a conveyance solicitor to handle things for you will save you a lot of time and aggravation. It can be very frustrating to try and be patient, but this is where it’s useful to have someone else handling the details for you.
Since the entire process of buying or selling a property can be really complicated, it’s usually best to have someone familiar with the process managing things. You need a solicitor anyway, but choose one who is good at communicating and can negotiate better terms with the other party.
Do You Need Probate Solicitors for Wills and Probate?
Selling or buying isn’t the only way you can transfer property. When someone passes on, they leave behind assets or an estate that needs to be dealt with. In many cases, the next of kin of the deceased, or the person named executor in the will, needs to apply for probate. This merely refers to the legal process of handling the assets of the deceased.
Until probate is granted, nothing can be done to the estate. However, once it is granted, the conditions in the will need to be fulfilled and the executor can then determine what to do with anything not laid out in the will.
While you don’t need a probate solicitor to apply for probate, it does make the process much simpler. The solicitor has plenty of experience with handling things like this and can easily manage the probate application for you. Since many people are still in shock over the passing of their loved one, it’s often simpler to have someone else handle all the difficult stuff.
There are five main stages of probate:
First, all the assets of the deceased need to be accounted for and any debts must be looked at. This will determine the actual value of their estate. During this point, the will is also looked at and any beneficiaries must present ID.
The next step is paying inheritance tax whenever it’s necessary. It doesn’t matter what time of year or whether or not you owe, but you’ll need to submit the Inheritance Tax return, which your solicitor can help with. Then you’ll need to apply to the Probate Registry, which will give someone the authority to execute the will.
The third step is to liquidate the assets and pay off any debts, as well as the taxes and administration fees, as needed. In some cases, there’s not much left after this, depending on how many debts the deceased had.
Next is documentation. You’ll need to prove all payments that have come and gone from the estate. This should show exactly how much is remaining for the beneficiaries. This will need to be approved by the executor of the will.
Finally, as long as there are no complications, the assets will be transferred to the beneficiaries as needed. This includes items and pets, etc. That the beneficiaries didn’t want to sell.
If the deceased did not have a will, you’ll need to follow a different procedure. In this case, intestacy rules apply and the law essentially decides who receives what. If there are no beneficiaries named in the will, the people who receive the benefits and the estate may not have anything to do with the deceased, yet they will receive the benefits. Anyone who is not ruled immediate family or next-of-kin by the law will not be included. This means unmarried couples and partners, or even step-siblings and children will not be recipients.
This is why it is so very important to complete a will. You should have one made up and you can always update as your life circumstances change. There’s no excuse for leaving your family to deal with the aftermath of not having a will and you can’t guarantee you have tomorrow.
Something that has recently become a big issue in the UK is asbestos. Older homes and buildings may still have asbestos in them and if that is the case, you may develop an illness due to exposure to the fibres. If that happens, you can file an asbestos claim.
The claim requires knowing who or what is responsible for your exposure. However, you do need to file the claim within three years of knowing that you have an asbestos related disease. So, if you are exposed in your new home that you have inherited or purchased, and you realize within a few months that your symptoms are caused by asbestos, you need to file fairly quickly.
In some cases, the victim of the asbestos has passed away and it is up to the family members to file a claim. This still needs to be submitted on time. Very few people are permitted to file outside of the three years. However, you should talk to your claims solicitor to find out what they think and whether you have a chance at exposure.
Are you in the market for a good solicitor or conveyancer? Higgins Law is available to help you with any of your legal needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help.