Date 19 January 2011 Page 24 WE COULD LOSE THE WILL TO LIVE Fiona McNulty OUR LAWYER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS Q MY HUSBAND and I have been with the same family solicitor for about 25 years. We moved to a new area in Putney five years ago and told our solicitor to keep our wills, our children’s trust documents and our lasting powers of attorney. We have just heard from some old neighbours that our solicitor’s firm has closed down and the office is empty. We are really concerned about our documents — what can we do? A S YOU haven’t heard from your family solicitor it sounds as though the firm did not close voluntarily, as it would presumably have made appropriate arrangements for its closure in accordance with the relevant needs to act to protect the interests which have been held by the firm on regulations contained in the of the clients of the firm and to behalf of clients. Solicitors’ Code of Conduct. protect clients’ money if, for As you have not heard anything If the firm did not close voluntarily instance, a solicitor has died or from your solicitor or an intervention there would have been what is known abandoned the practice. agent, telephone the SRA (0870 606 as an intervention by the Solicitors The SRA will appoint an 2555), obtain the intervention agent’s Regulation Authority (SRA). This intervention agent who will details and request the return of occurs if the SRA considers that it distribute documents and money your documents.Copyright Newspaper Licensing Agency. For internal use only. Not for reproduction.
Date 19 January 2011 Page 24 Q WHAT’S I BEGAN the process of buying a leasehold YOUR apartment in August last year. Completion is PROBLEM? planned for later this month. My solicitor IF YOU have had quoted £2,500 (plus VAT) for legal fees a question for but has not invoiced me as we agreed I would be Fiona McNulty, invoiced on exchange of contracts. please email In view of the recent VAT increase, what rate of VAT legalsolutions@ will be payable on my legal fees? A standard.co.uk, or write to Legal THE VAT increase from 17.5 per cent to 20 per Solutions, Homes cent was announced in June last year, and came & Property, into effect on January 4 this year. All goods and London Evening services supplied on or after this date must have Standard, 2 Derry VAT charged on them at 20 per cent. Street, W8 5EE. If goods or services were supplied within 14 days We regret that of January 4 and an invoice was raised on that date, or questions cannot one is raised after it, VAT at 20 per cent should be be answered charged. individually but In addition, any invoices raised on January 4 or later for we will try to goods and services provided before that date can have feature them here. VAT charged at 20 per cent. Fiona is a partner in the private client The legal work carried out by your solicitor spans property practice of across the two periods where the two different VAT rates Thring Townsend apply, so your solicitor can choose to charge VAT on the Lee & Pembertons entire fee at 20 per cent, or charge 17.5 per cent VAT on LLP. (ttuk.com) the legal work which was completed between August last year and January 3 this year, and 20 per cent on the work from January 4 to the completion of your purchase. If your solicitor is agreeable to the second option then they will have to issue two invoices.Copyright Newspaper Licensing Agency. For internal use only. Not for reproduction.