Your guide to owning a property together

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1 Your guide to owning a property together

2 Contents 1 Introduction to Owning a Property Together Joint Tenants versus Tenants in Common How do we know which one is best for us? Declaration of Trust The vital role of a Declaration of Trust: Case Studies Wills and Estate Planning FAQs The Goldsmith Williams Account Everyday Legal Premier Client Club Recommend a Friend Terms and Conditions Introduction to owning a property together Be it your first property together, or your tenth, buying a property with someone is a very exciting time. However, amongst all the excitement, there is also a great level of responsibility that comes with jointly owning property. It is essential that you hold the property in a way that best suits your circumstance in order to avoid a potentially complex legal situation. There are two ways in which you can own property together; as Joint Tenants or as Tenants in Common. As co-owners you need to decide which way you wish to hold your property and instruct us of your decision on the Co-Owning Property Instruction Form. This is a very important decision as the way in which you co-own property may have implications for couples who separate, family or friends who pool resources to buy property together and even married couples wanting to minimise inheritance tax liability. Don t worry though, with the help of this guide, we will help you make the best decision for you and your situation.

3 Joint Tenants versus Tenants in Common 2 Joint Tenants As Joint Tenants, each co-owner holds an equal interest in the property i.e. you both own it equally. Should one of you pass away, your share automatically passes to the remaining co-owner(s) without the need to obtain Probate. Most married couples tend to hold their property as joint tenants. However, this is not compulsory and married couples can opt to hold property as Tenants in Common if they wish. If you decide to hold your property as Joint Tenants, it is essential that you understand the potential repercussion of this choice. Either tenant can independently sever the Joint Tenancy agreement at any point without the consent of the other(s) by serving a Notice of Severance in accordance with section 36(2) of the Law of Property Act Should this happen, the property is then automatically held as Tenants in Common which means the tenant is free to leave their share of the property to whoever they wish. Tenants in Common As Tenants in Common, each co-owner owns a specific share of the property. This can be split anyway you wish e.g. 50/50, 70/30, 90/10. You can outline the shares in the enclosed Co-Owning Property Instruction Form. If you don t specify any shares, the law will assumes it s a 50/50 split. If the property was ever sold you would receive the monetary equivalent of your share e.g. if the property sells for 250,000 and you have a 70% share, you would receive 175,000. When one of you passes away, your share will pass to the Beneficiary(s) named in your Will (or under the Rules of Intestacy if there is no Will). In other words, your share can go to whomever you wish (it does not have to go to the other coowner(s).) Unmarried couples, couples in a second marriage, business partners and those who have made unequal contributions to the deposit and/or repayments are advised to hold their property as Tenants in Common.

4 How do we know which one is best for us? 3 Has one of you put more money into the property than the other(s)?... Yes... Yes... No Is one of you contributing more to the mortgage and/or the upkeep of the property?... Yes Yes... No... No Do you have any children from a previous relationship or any other dependencies? Do you want them to benefit from your property after your death?... No It is vital that your property is held in the most appropriate way for you. If you are unsure about what this is, we have prepared a series of questions which should help highlight if you would benefit more as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. You are best to hold your property as Tenants in Common You are best to hold your property as Joint Tenants

5 Declaration of Trust 4 In your Terms of Business pack, you will find your Co- Owning Property Instruction Form. It is essential for you to complete this form and return it to us detailing how you wish to hold your property. If you wish to hold your property as Tenants in Common in unequal shares you will have the opportunity to detail how much each tenant owns here. This form also includes instruction for a Declaration of Trust. A Declaration of Trust is an essential legal document for all property co-owners. A Declaration of Trust is a legally binding document which clearly outlines what you each own and how the value of the property would be divided should you ever split up or sell up. A Declaration of Trust records what each tenant has contributed to the property including the initial deposit needed for the property, the mortgage repayments and/ or the financial upkeep of the property. It is therefore an incredibly important document if one person has put in more money than the other. Without a Declaration of Trust, co-owners could end up facing a potentially complex and unpleasant legal situation. If you don t detail your individual stakes in the property and then later disagree on who should receive what, you may need to go through a very expensive and lengthy court case to sort it out.

6 5 A Declaration of Trust is just as important for Joint Tenants as it controls how a Joint Tenancy can be severed. Without one in place, either tenant can independently sever the Joint Tenancy agreement at any point by serving written notice on the other co-owner(s) and does not need the consent or agreement of the other owner(s). The co-owner does not even need to get written acknowledgement from the other party that they have received the Notice of Severance, although it is advisable. Should this happen, the property is then automatically held as Tenants in Common which means the tenant is free to leave their share of the property to whoever they wish. A Declaration of Trust can stipulate in what way a coowner can change either a Joint Tenancy or Tenants in Common in the future thus preventing any nasty surprises. We can deal with this for you but will make a discounted charge of between 95 and 250 plus VAT for any Declaration of Trust you may ask to be prepared during your conveyancing process. As part of your house purchase, we will draft your Declaration of Trust. If you do not wish to take out this added protection, please inform us of your decision on the Co-Owning Property Instruction Form. In addition to a Declaration of Trust, we also advise all our clients co-owning property to have a co-habitation agreement, regardless of marital status. This agreement covers who is responsible for what, including bills, living expenses, furniture and maintenance. Goldsmith Williams is unable to advise you further on this agreement as it will require you both to see independent solicitors but we think it is important that we raise your awareness of how they can best protect your interests. If you would like more information about a co-habiting agreement, you will need to seek specialist legal advice.

7 The Vital Role of a Declaration of Trust: Case Studies 6 There have been two cases recently where a Declaration of Trust could have proved vital. The first involved English cricketer-come-commentator, Geoffrey Boycott In 1996, the Geoffrey Boycott purchased a property with his lover Anne Wyatt. The property was held on a Joint Tenancy with both Boycott and Wyatt agreeing when either died, their share would pass to the survivor. Ms. Wyatt continued to live in the property alone until she died in Given their initial agreement, Boycott expected to inherit her half of the property. This was not the case. In 2007, two years prior to her death, Ms. Wyatt severed the Joint Tenancy, leaving her half of the house to her niece. Despite claiming he had no knowledge that the Joint Tenancy had been severed, Boycott lost his case and half the house. In this case a Declaration of Trust could have prevented the situation Boycott found himself in. Whilst he would not have been able to stop Ms. Wyatt from severing the Joint Tenancy, a Declaration of Trust would have ensured his knowledge of the Joint Tenancy being dissolved. The second case involved unmarried couple, Leonard Kernott and Patricia Jones The couple met in Despite having two children together, the pair never married. In 1985, they bought a house for 30,000 which they held as Joint Tenants. Ms. Jones however paid the full deposit of 6000 from the sale of her previous home. In 1986, they took out a joint loan of 2000 which was used to build an extension on the property. Mr Kernott did some of the work himself. In 1993, the couple split. Mr Kernott moved out of the property and Ms. Jones continued to live there with their two children. Thirteen years later, in 2006, Mr Kernott indicated his intention to claim his share of the property. This prompted Ms. Jones to apply for a declaration which stated she owned the entire property, now worth 245,000. A court case ensued which resulted in the Judge ruling in favour of Ms. Jones, upholding her claim that the common intention had changed and awarded Mr. Kernott just 10 per cent of the property s value. Many think this ruling was the correct outcome given Ms. Jones initial financial investment and then her ongoing contribution after Mr Kernott s departure while others believe Mr. Kernott got a bit of a raw deal. Either way had the couple taken out a Declaration of Trust in the first instance, and at a likely more amicable time, they could have avoided the court case altogether. A Declaration of Trust is a legally binding document which clearly outlines what you each own and how the value of the property would be divided should you ever split up or sell up.

8 Wills and Estate Planning 7 A Declaration of Trust is drafted by our Wills and Estate Planning department. After buying a property, the next logical step is to make a Will, especially if you have chosen to hold your property as Tenants in Common in order to outline who you wish to inherit your property after your death. Many people consider Wills and Estate Planning somewhat morbid. However, Estate Planning plays a central role in protecting your wealth, much of which is likely to now be wrapped up in your new property, to ensure the financial future of your family. We are experts in finding solutions for individuals, business owners and families who want to safeguard their estate, ensure their loved ones are protected and minimise Inheritance Tax. By placing your needs at the centre of our service, you and your family will benefit from a highly comprehensive, tailor-made Will which reflects your situation, objectives and addresses any challenges arising from your circumstances. If you are interested in making a Will, please let us know by ticking the corresponding box on the enclosed Co-Owning Property Instruction Form. Your details will then be passed to our Wills and Estate Planning department who will be in touch to discuss your situation.

9 Frequently Asked Questions 8 We appreciate there is a lot to take in and, chances are, you may have some questions. We are on hand to answer any questions you may have. We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions so have a read through and see if they can help. If you re still a bit bamboozled, please don t hesitate to get in touch. We re married/in a civil partnership so how should we hold our property? Most married couples or civil partners choose to hold their property as joint tenants. This is usually because they will want their partner to receive their share of the property if they were to pass away. This is not compulsory though. If one partner has contributed more to the property or have children from a previous relationship, they may prefer to hold the property as Tenants in Common instead. I ve got children from a previous relationship who I would like to inherit my share of the property so what should I do? If you and/or your current partner have children from a past relationship, it would be best to hold your property as Tenants in Common. This way you can leave your share to whoever you wish (assuming you have made a Will). In this situation, it is also vital that you have a Declaration of Trust. A Declaration of Trust outlines each coowners individual stake in the property so your children will inherit the right amount. It can also stipulate whether the surviving partner has the right to continue to live in the property until they pass away or wish to sell. Without this in place, your partner may be forced to sell the property in order to give your children their inheritance. I ve paid more. What should I do? Joint Tenants have an equal interest in the property. This means should you split up and wish to sell, you will both get an equal share of the proceeds. Whilst it is understandable to think you will never find yourself in this situation, it is important to consider all possible outcomes and only you can decide if you would be happy with splitting everything 50/50. If not, it is best to hold the property as Tenants in Common and agree now, at a more amicable time, what your shares in the property will be. It is also advisable that you set up a Declaration of Trust as it can outline in what way a co-owner can change the agreement in the future. What if one of us is in financial trouble? If either of you are in financial difficulties, or expect to be in the near future, you should take advice from an experienced financial adviser before buying property together. However if you decide to go ahead, it is likely a Tenants in Common agreement would be the better option for you both. Holding property as Tenants in Common means only the share of the co-owner in financial trouble can then be actioned against by any creditors.

10 Frequently Asked Questions 9 I want to hold the property as Joint Tenants but my partner wants to hold it as Tenants in Common. How do we decide? The decision regarding how you hold your property is something you must reach on your own. As your conveyancer, we cannot make the decision for you nor settle any disagreement. It is a very important decision and one that neither partner should feel forced into compromising. If you cannot make a decision, we would suggest that you both take independent legal advice. You should also think very carefully about whether you want to buy the property together at all. A relative is helping us pay for the property. We are all planning to live together. What should we do? It is essential that everyone involved in a situation like this is protected. Therefore it is wise that everything is agreed and recorded now to prevent any future disputes. It is advisable that the property is held as Tenants in Common and that a Declaration of Trust is drafted to record your relative s rights over the property. Should we be concerned about Inheritance Tax? Inheritance Tax (IHT) is not applicable when a spouse or civil partner inherits from the other. This is called the spousal exemption but does not apply to unmarried partners. This means if the deceased s total estate exceeds the IHT threshold (Nil Rate Band) then their share of the property is taxable and could result in the surviving partner having to sell the property in order to pay the IHT bill. This can happen regardless of if the property is held in Joint Tenancy or Tenancy in Common. There is also a knock on effect for your partner who will have a larger estate which could then mean a larger IHT bill when it is next inherited. Our Wills and Estate Planning department are specialists in finding solutions for individuals, business owners and families who want to safeguard their estate, ensure their loved ones are protected and minimise Inheritance Tax. If you would like to find out more about Inheritance Tax mitigation, please let us know by ticking the corresponding box on the enclosed Co-Owning Property Instruction Form. * Current Nil Rate Band ( 325,000). Subject to change If we split up, will the property automatically be sold? If you are married or in a civil partnership, the relevant Court will decide what happens to your property. If you are not married, and one of you applies to the Court, the Court will order a sale (subject to the Court being satisfied that it is appropriate to do so). If there is good reason for not doing so (e.g. because of young children), the Court may order the sale to be delayed. If you have a Declaration of Trust that restricts the power of sale, the Court will pay attention to that as well. Can we change our minds about being Joint Tenants / Tenants in Common? If you are Joint Tenants, either of you can end the Joint Tenancy and create a Tenancy in Common whenever you wish by giving a notice to the other tenant(s). This is called severance. You should take advice if you plan to do this as once the notice is given, all automatic rights, such as the automatic inheritance of the co-owners estate upon death, is revoked. The property will then be inherited according to the Will of the deceased or, if there is no Will, the Rules of Intestacy. If you are Tenants in Common, you can become Joint Tenants but only if you both/all sign a Declaration of Trust in which you all agree to the creation of a Joint Tenancy.

11 The Goldsmith Williams Account 10 Stay up to date with your case as well as upload documents, make payments and ask any questions you have even when the office is closed with your own Goldsmith Williams account. By creating an account, you ll be able to: View and update account details View case progress Send messages relating to a case Upload documents View previous quotes Make payments relating to a case Leave feedback Earn money by recommending family and friends We believe that by enabling you to have access to your case and understand the key milestones which have been or need to be completed will not only improve your experience but also help speed up your case. Get the App Get instant access to your case by downloading the free Goldsmith Williams App. What s more, enable the push notifications and you ll receive immediate updates as your case progresses. You ll also have access to Everyday Legal, our free legal advice service, offering help and information on a number of everyday legal issues. Available on Android and iphone, simply search for GW Solicitors in the App Store or on Google Play.

12 Everyday Legal Free legal help from Goldsmith Williams 11 Whilst you need our assistance in your current case, not every legal issue needs the professional advice of a solicitor. Often you can handle the situation on your own you just need a few pointers. That s what Everyday Legal, our free advice service, is all about equipping you with the right information so you can solve the problem yourself whether it s reclaiming unfair charges, resolving disputes or wanting to know your consumer rights. Topics include: Energy bill refunds How to claim for pothole damage Resolving property boundary disputes Your legal rights when buying a used car Dealing with noisy neighbours. Everyday Legal is available on our website - as well as through our free mobile app. Simply search GW Solicitors in the App Store or Google Play.

13 Premier Client Club At Goldsmith Williams, we value loyalty. This is why we created our Premier Client Club to reward customers who, having already benefitted from our services, come back when they need a solicitor again. 12 As a member, you ll benefit from all this: Standard fees for any future conveyancing or remortgage work* Fees for any Wills and Power of Attorney services* But it isn t just you who can benefit from these discounts! Recommend family and friends to us as we ll extend these discounts to them too. Now you can t say fairer than that! Premier Client Club costs just 40 (+VAT) and could more than pay for itself in just one future transaction. You ll be given the opportunity to join during your current case with us. Please visit for more information. * not including VAT/Disbursements

14 Recommend a Friend 13 Impressed by our service? We sure hope so! Then why not recommend us to your friends and family and earn up to 250 for your effort. How much could you earn? Service You get Conveyancing Up to 100^ Remortgage 25 Wills 20 Personal Injury 250 Financial Claims (PPI) 50 Care Home Fees 75 It s so easy to recommend us to family and friends. Simply log on or create a Goldsmith Williams account by visiting login. Click on the Recommend a Friend button and simply enter your friend s address and the service you are recommending. Hit send and off it goes to your friend s inbox. You can then keep an eye on if they follow your recommendation and take up our services, and ultimately if and when you ll get paid, through your own personal dashboard. Don t forget, if you re a Premier Client Club member, your relative or friend will also be entitled to discounts on our services*. Might be worth mentioning that to them as an extra incentive! ^Earn 50 for a single sale or purchase case and 100 for a combined sale and purchase case *Premier client club members and their family and friends are entitled to 25% of our conveyancing and remortgage fees and 10% of our Wills service. Not including VAT and disbursements

15 Terms and Conditions of Service 14 General Terms and Conditions Acceptance of Instructions to Act We can decide whether or not to accept instructions from a client. If we receive a referral/ nomination from an Introducer, this does not mean that we have to accept the instruction to act for the client(s) referred. If we refuse instructions we do not have to give a reason, though we will never refuse instructions for unlawful or discriminatory reasons. Goldsmith Williams is committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of its dealings with clients, third parties and employees. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our Equality and Diversity Policy. Data Protection We will control and process your personal information in accordance with the Data Protection Act We will use the personal information that you provide to deal with your case and carry out our duties to you. We may disclose your personal information to other companies should the need arise during the progress of your case. We will also use your personal information for administrative, accounting, monitoring, research and marketing purposes; statistical analysis; security vetting and client services. By providing your personal information to us, you expressly authorise us to process that information for the purposes set out in this paragraph. You can at any time request from us a copy of all information that we have regarding you (for which we may charge a fee of ) and correct any inaccuracies in it. If you provide information to us about another party, you confirm that such party authorised you to do so and consents to our processing that personal information. Regulation Goldsmith Williams is authorised and regulated by The Solicitors Regulation Authority under number We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, so we cannot give you investment advice nor can we advise you about mortgage products. Using your information we will process any data we have about you in accordance with the Data Protection Act Copyright We retain copyright in documents that we provide to you or a third party on your behalf. You can use the documents solely for the matter that you have asked us to deal with and not for any other purpose. Law and Jurisdiction Our agreement with you to provide legal services and these terms of business are governed by and construed in accordance with English law. Electronic ID You may see a charge for carrying out an electronic ID search mentioned in your Terms of Business letter. We may do this because we have to be sure that you are who you say you are and by using the technology available we can search a number of online registers to satisfy ourselves of your identity. You should know that we make a profit on these searches which cost us currently 80p per name. You will appreciate however that we have a fair degree of administration to do to submit a search, receive the result and consider the result (quite often we need to resubmit some outstanding information or make a judgement if the result is not as clear as it could be). The fees that we charge as outlined in your Terms of Business letter therefore covers all the administrative cost to us of making sure that we deal with the question of your ID as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Your File Your file is confidential and we will not let anyone see it without your permission. However, your file may be requested in some circumstances. Where applicable, your lender has the right to see documents relating to your loan. Many lenders will ask you to sign a waiver which allows them to see the whole file, including letters you have sent us and notes we have taken at

16 15 meetings and during phone calls. However we will always check to ensure you do give your consent for us to do so. We are proud to be registered as an ISO 9001:2008 quality assured company and as part of this, it may be necessary for us to allow inspectors to view your files. The inspectors will simply check that we gave your case the appropriate attention. They will not disclose any confidential information to anyone else. You may write to us at any point to say that you do not wish your file to be made available for assessment. This will not affect the service you receive from us in any way. External firms or organisations may conduct audit and quality checks on our practice. These external firms or organisations are required to maintain confidentiality in relation to your files. If you wish us to send a copy of your file to you at any time after your matter has completed please let us know. Such requests must be in writing. Please be aware we are entitled to make a charge that is fair and reasonable taking into consideration the time and effort involved in complying with your request. We can, of course, provide you with a breakdown of our charges for doing. We keep our files for six years in electronic format only (except Wills & Probate or files relating to minors which are kept in paper format indefinitely) and will destroy them thereafter unless you ask us not to. If you do not go ahead with your case, we may destroy your file at any time. Call Recording All inward and outward telephone calls are recorded. This is for two reasons: 1. It helps us to have a record of your instructions to us and any information that we give to you over the telephone. 2. We can also use this to monitor the level of service being provided to clients, which assists us in developing our service to clients by providing staff training where necessary. Copies of Calls If you want a copy of a recording please ask the person dealing with your matter. It is not always possible to provide a recording as there can be technical problems which lead to calls not being recorded or where we are unable to trace the call. Using your Information We will use all information you provide primarily for the provision of legal services. However we may also use it for related purposes including updating and enhancing our records, analysis to assist in managing our practice, statutory returns, legal and regulatory compliance. Confidentiality We have a duty to keep information about you confidential. However, we may be required to allow outside organisations access to our files, such as our Regulator, bankers providing funding for your case, the assessors for our ISO 9001:2008 accreditation, any After the Event insurers and/or your Introducer. Money Laundering We comply with the Money Laundering Regulations Act 2007 and associated legislation (Terrorism Act 2000 and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002). In a situation where you are sending us funds, we reserve the right not to proceed with a transaction should we receive such funds from a source that is different from one already notified, until we can make the necessary investigations about where the funds have come from and who has sent them to us. Therefore, if you fail to tell us that money will be paid to us by a third party, this will cause a delay in proceeding with your matter. If you fail to satisfy us about the source of the money, we reserve the right to stop acting. If a third party, who is not our client, is sending us money on your behalf, then we must have identification from that person(s) and we also need to know the source of the funds being sent to us, a copy of the bank statement or passbook will be needed.

17 16 Outsourcing We may require external third party companies to undertake work in connection to assist in the smooth running of your matter, such as instructing witness statement takers. We will have an Agreement in place with any such outsourced provider to ensure that we are confident of their ability to work to a certain standard, have the necessary expertise, data security processes and resources to carry it out. Interest In accordance with the requirements of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 2011, any money received on your behalf will be held in a client account. We will pay a sum in lieu of interest on monies held in line with the terms of our payment of interest policy. It is important to note that interest will not be payable in all cases and that the rate received will be lower than that available to the client had the monies been invested privately. The written policy is available on request. Limitation of Liability We have compulsory indemnity cover of 3m for each and every claim and for most claims this amount will be sufficient, therefore, we limit our liability to this amount, unless there is any fraud or reckless disregard of professional obligations. For matters where the value of the transaction is more than 3m these will be dealt with by way of a separate agreement. Electronic Communication We are happy to use as a way to communicate with you, but you should be aware that confidentiality cannot be ensured nor is delivery of such mail. If you prefer us not to use , please tell us in writing. Rights Any advice that we give is for your benefit, as our client. Third parties may not use or rely on our advice. Distance Selling We may not have met with you, in which case the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 apply. This means you have a right to cancel your instructions to us within fourteen working days of our receipt of your instruction. Your Right to Complain As part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, Goldsmith Williams has a rigorous complaints procedure that you can access at any time. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have any problems or you would like a copy of our Complaints Procedure. If you have a complaint about the service you receive from us, at any time, you should raise this with the person responsible for your case. If they cannot resolve the matter then you should speak to the manager of the team. If, after that, you are dissatisfied with how your complaint has been dealt with, you should contact our Customer Services Manager, Barbara Hillen on , by goldsmithwilliams.co.uk or by writing to us. Your complaint will then be dealt with in accordance with our complaints procedure, a copy of which is available on request. Please do not store up any complaints, please raise them straight away. If still unresolved at this stage, you may take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Normally, you will have to bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final response from us about your complaint and six years from the date of the act or omission giving rise to the complaint or alternatively three years from the date you should reasonably have known there are grounds for complaint (if the act/omission took place before 6th October 2010 or was more than six years ago). Banking Crisis Please note that we will not accept liability to repay monies lost through any banking failure as all monies are placed by us in accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules. All client monies are deposited with either Barclays or Yorkshire Banks. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme ( FSCS ) limit of 85,000 will apply for an individual s total monies. Please also note that some deposit institutions have several brands

18 17 which can be checked with your bank or the FCA (www.fca. org.uk). We would also advise that in the event of a banking failure we may need to disclose clients details to the FSCS. Client Balances We have a duty under our Code of Conduct to return any monies to you following completion of your matter. If for any reason we are unable to make contact with you, we will therefore need to engage the services of a tracing agent who will be able to do this on our behalf. The costs incurred in carrying out this additional work will be deducted from any monies due to you. Assessment Under sections 70, 71 and 72 of the Solicitors Act 1974 you are entitled to have our bill of costs assessed by a court. Goldsmith Williams is entitled to charge interest on any outstanding amount of the bill in accordance with article 5 of the Solicitors (Non-contentious Business) Remuneration Order Cancellation Fee If you decide not to go ahead before your mortgage offer, we will charge you 250 (plus VAT) for the work we have already done. If you decide not to go ahead after your mortgage offer, we will charge you the full fee, plus any fees we have to pay to other people. Conflict of Interest We do not act for both the buyer and seller in a conveyancing transaction even where the conduct rules allow us to. In the unlikely event that we are also acting for your Introducer in the same matter and a conflict arises we may be obliged to cease acting. We will notify you in writing if a conflict arises and advise you of your options. Ending the Relationship You can tell us to stop acting for you at any time. We can only stop acting for you if we have a good reason and can give you reasonable notice. Examples of when we may stop acting are where: (i) there is a conflict of interests (ii) the relationship between us breaks down (iii) we cannot obtain instructions from you or your instructions constantly change (iv) you fail to provide the necessary identification; or (v) you fail to satisfy us about the source of any money that you are sending to us This list is not exhaustive and it merely gives examples. If either of us ends the relationship, you remain liable for our costs and disbursements we have paid on your behalf plus any costs and disbursements for the transfer of your file to your new advisers. Referral It is likely that you will have been referred to us by your Introducer. If so, then this introduction is regulated by a Code of Conduct. This is called the SRA Code of Conduct you can ask us for a copy or you can view it at It s our duty to inform you that we have a financial arrangement with your Introducer. Your Introducer should do so as well. Please see our Terms of Business letter for a breakdown. Despite any financial arrangement, any advice that we give you is independent and you are free to raise questions on any aspect of the transaction and of course you are free to choose another solicitor to act on your behalf. Your Best Interests If you are charged a fee by your Introducer for arranging your mortgage we will include this on your completion statement and, provided we have your signed authority to do so, will deduct this from you and pay it to your Introducer. We have had over 25 years experience and can say that the majority of our clients have preferred to have a third party Introducer assisting on their behalf through a case. Introducers know us, the procedures involved, the legal language used, what our service

19 18 levels are and can question us if they don t believe things are progressing as they should. It is entirely your decision as to whether instructing an Introducer is right for you and that their service is of sufficient value to you in terms of spending the time and effort in seeing your case through. Introducers can remove the hassle and worry that some legal cases can sometimes create, leaving you to get on with what you need to do. All our clients are asked at the end of a transaction to complete a Client Satisfaction Questionnaire for feedback on how well they rate the over all experience. Our Code also prohibits us from acting for any clients who have been acquired as a result of marketing or publicity or other activities which, if done by a person regulated by the SRA, would be in breach of any of these rules. This means we cannot act where you have been referred to us by an Introducer: using misleading or inaccurate publicity; making unsolicited visits or telephone calls ( Cold Calling ); If you feel that either of these points relate to you please let us know as soon as possible as we will be unable to act for you. We confirm that the information disclosed by you to us will not be disclosed to your Introducer without your consent. Whether you are recommended to us or not you are always free to choose another solicitor. Payment of Costs All costs and disbursements must be paid to us before completion; otherwise we have the right to refuse to complete the transaction. If you wish to pay our costs or any disbursements by credit card please note that there is an additional surcharge of 2.5% to cover administration costs. The 2.5% will be charged every time a credit card is used for any additional payments. There is no surcharge when using a debit card. Marketing We may from time to time use your data to market our other products and services or pass your details to reputable third parties to do so. If you do not wish this to happen you may opt-out by ticking the appropriate box in the Client Property Questionnaire. Conveyancing Quality Scheme As a member we now have some professional obligations to follow which will apply to your transaction. If you require further information this can be accessed by visiting the Law Society website uk/practicesupport/ conveyancing.page

20 If our dedicated team of experts can offer any assistance we d be delighted to hear from you or alternatively, visit Calls cost 3p per minute plus your phone company s access charge. goldsmithwilliams If you d prefer to receive information from us by in future, please send your full name and address to This brochure is available in larger print at your request. The information contained in this brochure is subject to change but is correct at the time of print. CONVEYANCING REMORTGAGE PERSONAL INJURY WILLS & PROBATE EQUITY RELEASE BUY-TO-LET FINANCIAL CLAIMS CARE HOME FEES Goldsmith Williams Solicitors / Mersey Chambers / 5 Old Churchyard / Liverpool / L2 8GW DX address Liverpool. Goldsmith Williams is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number Goldsmith Williams Solicitors /020/250815

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