Archives 2023

  • Commercial Property

    02/11/2023

    What is Commercial Property Law?

    In the dynamic world of business, where every square foot can mean an opportunity, navigating the intricate landscape of commercial property requires expertise. Commercial property law, at its core, revolves around the acquisition, sale, leasing, and utilisation of land for commercial purposes, be it for development or investment. Merriman Solicitors, with a wealth of experience, stands as your reliable guide through the intricate maze of legal considerations in commercial property transactions.

    Key Aspects of Commercial Property Law:

    Commercial property law spans various transaction types, both short and long term, covering freehold property transactions, commercial leases, acquisitions, and development projects. It intricately intersects with planning, construction, and tax law. Our team at Merriman Solicitors is adept at handling a plethora of issues including:

    ● Leasing of commercial properties from the perspective of both landlords and tenants.

    ● Purchase, sale and management of investment properties.

    ● Development of both residential and commercial building projects.

    ● Financing of commercial property transactions and funding of building projects.

    ● Resolution of commercial property disputes through litigation, mediation, and arbitration.

    Is it worth leasing or buying a commercial property?

    Determining whether it is more advantageous for you to buy or lease will be a crucial decision in the development of your business or investment strategy. When it comes to commercial property, the stakes are typically high, meaning significant financial risks and more difficult decision-making processes.

    You must consider both the present and the future when deciding whether to purchase a commercial property outright or whether to take on a tenancy. When business people decide to rent property, it’s usually because they are just getting started in the industry or the area, or because they don’t want to be tied down by property ownership due to financial constraints. Those who want to buy instead of renting, do so because they desire more control over the property’s usage (they can more readily

    change its appearance, subject to planning clearances) and also because it’s typically a wise investment.

    In the end, it comes down to your financial situation, your needs from the property, and your long-term goals.

    How can our Solicitors help?

    From acquisition to sale, investing in properties poses specific challenges that require a sophisticated legal strategy. Merriman Solicitors is skilled at handling these complications, guiding clients towards well-informed decisions that complement their financial goals. We carefully go over contracts, carry out due investigation, and bargain for advantageous conditions during the buying process. Our legal staff handle leasing agreements, compliance issues, and the nuances of management under ownership. When it’s time to sell, we maximise returns by facilitating smooth transfers.

    Whether you’re an individual or an organisation dealing with commercial property, having a solicitor by your side is essential. Merriman Solicitors offers comprehensive legal support, tailored to the specific needs of diverse industries.

    Our commercial property solicitors can assist in:

    ● Providing legal advice to buyers, sellers, landlords, or tenants in property acquisition or leasing matters.

    ● Offering guidance to property developers involved in new construction projects.

    ● Conducting thorough property research, including CPSEs, boundaries, disputes, planning permissions, local authority matters, easements, and more.

    ● Drafting, completing, and filing paperwork and documentation related to commercial property transactions.

    ● Facilitating negotiations for sale or lease contracts.

    ● Resolving disputes related to owned or prospective commercial properties.

    ● Offering conveyancing services for commercial properties, ensuring a seamless legal process in buying or selling.

     

    How Merriman Solicitors Elevates Your Commercial Property Experience

    At Merriman Solicitors, we pride ourselves on understanding the unique needs of our clients and serving areas in and around Marlborough & Wiltshire. With an unwavering commitment to protecting your interests, we bring years of experience to the table, ensuring that your commercial property journey is not just legally sound but also strategically advantageous.

    Ready to embark on a journey where your commercial property transactions are handled with expertise and precision? Complete our online enquiry form or reach out to us at 01672 515846 or via email at law@tmp.uk.net

  • Lasting Powers of Attorney

    23/06/2015

    There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:-

    (1) To cover your Property and Financial Affairs (allowing an attorney to make decisions about paying bills, dealing with the bank, collecting benefits, selling your house, etc.)

    (2) To cover your Health and Welfare (allowing decisions on treatment, care, medication, where you live, etc.)

    The LPA gives your chosen Attorney(s) the power to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself, due to infirmity, mental incapacity, illness, or absence abroad.

    The Health and Welfare LPA incorporates an Advance Directive where you can select an option to either give or to not give your Attorney(s) authority to consent or to refuse life sustaining treatment.

    Putting in place LPAs appointing Attorneys whom you trust most avoids the circumstances of someone else whom you may not have chosen to apply to the Court of Protection for authority to look after your affairs. This is a lengthy and costly process about his.

    What to do next

    Complete the online enquiry form or contact us by phone 01672 515846 or email.

  • Residential Conveyancing

    18/06/2015

    Residential Conveyancing Services

    Buying or selling a home can be a stressful experience, and we understand the challenges involved. At Merriman Solicitors, we offer a friendly and expert service to guide you through the process seamlessly.

    Our team of qualified solicitors, with extensive experience in conveyancing, is dedicated to providing you with assistance from start to finish. We specialise in various aspects of residential conveyancing, including:

    • Sales and purchases
    • Freehold and Leasehold
    • Joint ownership advice
    • Loan Agreements
    • First registrations
    • Probate and matrimonial transfer
    • Enfranchisement and lease extensions

    Having worked in Marlborough and Wiltshire for many years, we have a deep understanding of the local area and strong connections with local agents. In response to our clients’ needs, we have expanded our services to cover properties in London, making it an integral part of our work.  We can also assist with transactions throughout England and Wales.

    Feel free to call us at 01672 515846 or contact us via email to discuss how we can assist you. In most cases, we can offer a fixed fee for our services.

    Pricing for Residential Conveyancing:

    Property transactions are unique, and our fees reflect the specific requirements of your sale or purchase. While we aim to provide a reliable estimate, the actual cost depends on the details of your intended transaction.

    Fees Structure:

    Typically, our fees, on a Fixed Fee basis, range from £1,000 – £2,000 plus VAT (£200-£400) for standard transactions.

    Additional fees apply for leasehold properties £100 – £200 plus VAT (£20-£40).

    Our fee for dealing with re-mortgages ranges from £350 – £475 plus VAT (£70-£95) with an additional £75 plus VAT (£15) for leasehold transactions.

    Additional Expenses:

    In addition to our fees, you will incur costs payable to third parties, known as ‘disbursements.’ Common disbursements include search fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax (paid to HMRC), Land Registry fees, and more. We handle disbursements on your behalf for a smoother process.

     

    For a Sale transaction
    Office Copy Entries £6
    ID Verification (if required) £7.20 plus VAT (£1.44) per person
    Bank Transfer Fee (if required) £34 plus VAT (£6.80) per transfer
    Archiving Fee £35 plus VAT (£7)
    For a Purchase transaction
    Stamp Duty Land Tax (paid to HMRC) The amount depends on the purchase price of your property.  This can be calculated using HMRC’s website  or if the property is in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website here.
    Land Registry Fee This fee varies depending on the value of  the property and further details can be supplied on request
    Search fees (to cover the usual recommended searches x 3) In the region of £350 plus VAT (£70) for official searches and in the region of £200 plus VAT for regulated searches
    Chancel Liability Indemnity Insurance (if required) £12 (including Insurance Premium Tax – £40)
    ID verification (if required) £7.20 plus VAT (£1.44) per person
    Archiving fee £35 plus VAT (£7)
    Sale of Leasehold Properties
    There are usually additional fees payable to the landlord or managing agent to obtain a Management Pack or replies to Leasehold Property Enquiries.  These are typically between £150 – £300 plus VAT (£30-£60) but can be higher.

    Duration of Transactions:

    The time from offer acceptance to contract exchange varies based on factors like the property type and the number of parties in the chain. On average, a conveyance takes between 12-20 weeks.

    Stages of the Process:

    Our service encompasses various stages, such as:

    • Taking instructions and giving initial advice
    • Drafting or receiving and advising on contract documents
    • Carrying out searches and obtaining planning documentation if required
    • Raising or answering enquiries on title documents and searches
    • Reporting on title and obtain mortgage offer (if appropriate)
    • Obtaining authority to exchange and agree completion date
    • Agreeing pre completion documents and obtaining pre-completion searches
    • Providing a financial statement
    • Completing the sale/purchase
    • Dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax and application for registration at Land Registry

    Quality Assurance:

    As members of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme by the Law Society, we adhere to high standards, ensuring a professional and quality conveyancing service.

    Please contact us by phone at 01672 515846, Email or Complete the online enquiry form to discuss your individual needs; we are here to assist you.

  • Trusts

    23/06/2015

    Trusts can also be created for tax-planning reasons and asset protection. The most usual types of trusts which can be created are:

    Bare Trust

    This type of trust is not, strictly speaking, a trust at all.
    An asset is held in the names of trustees, but the trustees only nominally own the assets within the trust. The real owners are the beneficiaries. Such trusts arise commonly when children are entitled to assets but they are not old enough to have legal authority to deal with those assets.

    Discretionary Trusts

    The trustees of a discretionary trust own the trust assets having absolute discretion to administer and distribute the assets and which applies to both capital and income of the trust. The beneficiaries only have a mere ‘hope’ of receiving a benefit from the discretionary trust.
    The trustees are guided by a separate non-binding letter of wishes created by the ‘Settlor’ of the Trust as to how they would like the trustees to exercise their discretion.
    The Settlor can also be a trustee but for tax purposes should never benefit from the trust assets themselves in any way.
    The real advantage of this type of trust is in its flexibility allowing the trustees to take into account the changing needs of the beneficiaries and the tax legislation throughout the trust period.

    Interest in Possession

    This is a trust whereby a person (called the ‘ life tenant’) is entitled to income or occupation of a property but not to capital online task manager. Such a trust may be established in the circumstances of second marriages where there are children from a previous relationship to provide for a new partner while at the same time protecting capital for their own children to inherit in due course.

    What to do next
    Complete the online enquiry form or contact us by phone 01672 515846 or email.

  • Wills And Probate

    18/06/2015

    Making a Will ensures certainty for your loved ones who are likely to be experiencing a time of intense bereavement. It sets out clearly, for example, your funeral wishes and the persons whom you wish to appoint as executors to deal with the administration of your estate and to give effect to the terms of your Will after your death.

    Making a Will avoids your estate from being administered according to strict statutory intestacy rules which are highly unlikely to reflect your true wishes.

    Making a Will is simple. Don’t hesitate.

    We can help with :

    • Wills
    • Probate
    • Estate Administration
    • Tax Planning
    • Trusts and administration
    • Powers of Attorney
    • Deputyship Applications
    • Court of Protection Matters

    Complete the online enquiry form or contact us by phone 01672 515846 or email.

  • Probate and Estate Administration

    23/06/2015

    Probate and Estate Administration Services

    Full-Service Probate

    For those who prefer a comprehensive approach, our Full-Service Probate is designed to handle every aspect of Estate Administration, regardless of size or complexity. Whether you are just starting or wish to hand over the administration midway, our experienced team is ready to assist.

    Dealing with the administration of a deceased person’s estate is a challenging task, particularly during a time of bereavement. We understand the emotional and stressful nature of this process and our team of expert lawyers are here to provide professional advice and support, making sure that  the deceased person’s estate is dealt with correctly, efficiently and in accordance with their wishes. 

    How We Charge:

    Where we are instructed to manage and process an Estate Administration to completion, our charge is based on a fixed fee of 1.95% of the total gross value of the Estate.  For example, if the Estate has a value of £350,000, our fee would be £6,825 plus VAT (£1,365).  We offer an initial meeting charged at £250 plus VAT (£50) for up to an hour to discuss the Probate process and your requirements.  This charged would be waived if we are instructed to act and our fixed fee above is charged.

    This service would cover the following:

    • Valuing the Estate and ascertaining date of death assets and liability values by contacting the third parties with whom the deceased dealt;
    • Assisting and advising on any professional valuations for property, investments, chattels, works of art etc;
    • Considering and applying all exemptions and reliefs for Inheritance Tax which may apply;
    • Completing the relevant HM Revenue and Customs and Inheritance Tax forms;
    • Preparing tax calculations and advising on the available options to pay the tax due and any interest implications;
    • Liaising with the District Valuer;
    • Preparing the relevant application form and Legal Statement for the Grant to be signed by the Executors;
    • Submitting the application to the Probate Court and dealing with any queries raised;
    • Obtaining the Grant of Probate, advising when it is issued and producing certified copies;
    • Arranging payment of any further Inheritance Tax due;
    • Paying debts (excluding mortgages);
    • Finalising utility bills;
    • Identification of items specifically gifted and transferring them into the name of the beneficiary (excluding legal transfer work);
    • Paying cash gifts detailed in the Will and obtaining receipts for the Executors as proof of payment;
    • Advising on the requirement of Section 27 Trustee Act Notices;
    • Discussing with the Executors and beneficiaries the transfer or encashment of holdings in any investment and the Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax implications of such;
    • Dealing with Assents of properties to trustees or to beneficiaries;
    • Advising on Deeds of Appropriation (if required);
    • Collecting all of the Estate assets, including closure of bank accounts;
    • Undertaking bankruptcy searches for individual beneficiaries;
    • Registering the Estate with HMRC via the Trust Registration Service;
    • Advising on and liaising with an accountant in respect of the preparation of Income and Capital Gains Tax returns for the Administration period;
    • Preparing form R185E;
    • Advising on and submitting Corrective Accounts and claims for loss on sale of property/shares;
    • Preparing Estate Accounts as an ongoing process;
    • Preparing Final Estate Accounts for Executor and beneficiary approval;
    • Obtaining formal clearance from HMRC;
    • Arranging final payments due to beneficiaries.

    Please note that our fixed fee applies to estates with a value of up to £2,000,000, where the deceased was UK domiciled, there are no foreign Wills or assets, there are no disputes between beneficiaries and this firm is not acting as an Executor.  Our fixed fee is subject to a minimum charge of £6,825 plus VAT (£1,365).  For us to provide an accurate fee estimate in respect of the Estate, you would need to discuss the specific details with one of our specialists.

    Additional Expenses (Disbursements):

    We manage disbursements on your behalf, including probate application fees, searches, statutory advertisements, file archiving fees, and property-related costs.

    Some of the most common types of disbursements in probate matters include:

    • Probate application fee of £273 plus 1.50p for each additional sealed office copy of the Grant of Probate (usually one per asset).
    • Bankruptcy- Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary).
    • Statutory Advertisement of between £180 – £200 plus VAT (£36-£40) (The London Gazette – and a local newspaper) to protect against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
    • File Archiving Fee – £250 plus VAT (£50).

    Please note that dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included in our Fixed Fee. For specific property-related services, additional fees may apply.

    Timeframe:

    On average, our experience suggests that estates are concluded within 6 to 18 months.

    Typically:

    • Obtaining information to apply for a Grant of Probate takes 8 to 20 weeks;
    • The Grant of Probate application usually has a processing time of between 8 to 16 weeks from the point of submission to the Probate Registry;
    • The process of collecting in assets and paying liabilities is entirely asset specific although most assets can typically be collected in circa 4 to 28 weeks; and
    • Once all assets have been collected and all liabilities paid, final Estate Accounts will be prepared, and once concluded and approved, arrangements will be made for the distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. This final stage normally takes in the order of 4 to 8 weeks.

    These timescales are on the basis that:

    • There is a valid Will and appointment of Executors;
    • There is no claim brought against the Estate;
    • Where there is a property to sell it sells within an average time scale;
    • The third parties with whom the deceased dealt, correspond within a reasonable timeframe.

    Other Fixed Fees Available

    Sometimes Executors may wish to instruct us to only obtain a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration (where there is no Will). We are happy to accept such instructions on the assumption that no inheritance tax is payable. Where all relevant financial information is provided to us by the Personal Representatives we will obtain the Grant for a fixed fee of £2,000 + VAT (£400).  This fixed fee covers the following:

    • An initial meeting to discuss details of the Estate;
    • Consideration of all financial and other information provided;
    • Preparation of the Return of Estate Information form (IHT205) (if required) for approval and signature (however, where the estate requires a full Inheritance Tax Account on form IHT400, which is far more complex, our fixed fee will be £3,500 + VAT (£700));
    • Where form IHT400 is required, submitting this in advance of the probate application to HM Revenue and Customs;
    • Preparing the application for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration;
    • Submitting the application to the Probate Registry;
    • Providing the sealed copies of the Grant of Probate to the Personal Representatives.

    No other work is included within this fixed fee, leaving you free to obtain all assets, pay all liabilities, settle all taxes due to HMRC and account to the beneficiaries entirely by yourself.

    Where you do require us to undertake additional work or provide ad hoc advice, it will be the subject of an entirely separate and bespoke quotation.

    Disbursements with Grant only Fixed Fee Work, will comprise only the Probate application fee of £273 and the cost of any Office Copy Grants you may require at the rate of £1.50 per copy.  Arrangement of any other searches would not be included in the fixed fee.

     Contact Us:

    Complete our online enquiry form or reach out to us by phone at 01672 515846 or law@tmp.uk.net. Let us alleviate the burden of Estate Administration by providing expert guidance and support throughout the process.

  • Business & Employment

    18/06/2015

    Businesses should promote good practice at work with clear and fair policies and procedures. Stay on the right side of employment law with effective risk analysis to make the right decisions and prevent incidents before they arise.

    When you want to sell or buy a business, we can:

    • Take you through the transaction with efficiency
    • Draft commercial contracts, partnership agreements
    • Advise upon Winding up your business and Succession Planning

    Protect your business against potentially expensive disputes. We can mediate to resolve small or major issues at your workplace. We can help you to be as prepared as possible and provide:

    • Mediation in workplace issues
    • Protection for your business with robust policy and procedure
    • Contracts and settlements
    • Protection for your business clients with effective restrictive covenants
    • Practical advice for HR matters of recruitment, redundancy, sickness and absence
    • Ways to manoeuvre disciplinary and grievance issues
  • Inheritance Tax Planning

    23/06/2015

    However, in October 2007, the Chancellor announced that the NRB for married couples and civil partners would be transferable in so far as the assets of the first to die passed to the survivor.

    This means that if one of a couple dies, and leaves all the Estate to the survivor, the survivor’s Estate can then claim 2 full NRB’s at the rate applicable on the survivor’s death.

    The first death can have been at any time but the second death must have been after October 2007 to do list app. There is generally no longer an IHT advantage in setting up a NRB Discretionary Trust in your Will, although, depending on market conditions, the value of certain assets may increase faster than any increases in the NRB, for example, building land.

    Other important advantages remain, for example, in the protection of assets from being taken into account in a financial means tested assessment by a local authority for state benefits or nursing home care. A NRB Discretionary Trust is also advantageous in its flexibility to take account of the beneficiaries circumstances and the tax legislation at the time of first death.

    The NRB is currently £325,000.

    What to do next

    Complete the online enquiry form or contact us by phone 01672 515846 or email.

  • Merriman Partnership Image Holder

    18/06/2015
  • Commercial Mediation

    18/06/2015

    Mediation is a voluntary and confidential way to resolve conflict and disputes. Through mediation we have helped both parties achieve a solution that is acceptable to everyone. Mediation can be a highly cost-effective, fast route to resolution which helps you to move on with your life. An effective mediation can avoid protracted arguments and minimise the stress and impact on you or to your business. Our trained Mediator will manage various sorts of disputes such as:

    • Contractual
    • Workplace or Director disputes
    • Complaints against Professionals
    • Landlord and Tenant
    • Neighbourhood Disputes
    • Boundary Issues
    • Business to Business
    • Poor Service

    The focus in mediation is finding a way forward.

    Complete the online enquiry form or contact us by phone 01672 515846 or email.

  • For Everyone’s Safety – As the nature of our work requires mainly internet access and phone communication, our staff operates a blended system of home and office working. More Information