A will is an important document to get right - in content, expression, and execution. It is a mistake to think either that a will is not necessary or that it is necessarily straightforward. In Scotland, the law of inheritance can be complex and very often not what the ordinary client expects in terms of the rights of family members to a share – or not - of the estate.  There will almost certainly be a discussion   and advise on options together with an assessment of the risks to achieve even the most basic will. If there are more complex family circumstances, dispositions of assets and/or potential or actual exposure to Inheritance Tax, then the work required may be extensive and thus carry additional fee charge.

Our fees for a consultation, advice preparation of a single will, completion execution and storage our fee commences at £110 plus vat. There are usually no outlays associated with this process.

Power of Attorney (Incapacity)

There are various kinds of Power of Attorney (POA). The most used is a document called and Enduring or Continuing Power of Attorney that has the combined Financial and Welfare powers that supports a person who is incapacitated mentally and/or physically and cannot carry out his/her normal business and/or personal care. It allows a trusted friend or family member or multiplicity of people to do what is needed, armed with full legal rights conferred by “the Adult” as the granter of the POA is known under the Adults With Incapacity (Scotland) Act. The document is lengthy and complex and must be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the Adult. A basic POA may require meeting and consultation with the solicitor, the drafting of the POA document, its completion and execution (i.e., signing and witnessing) – it must also be certified by the solicitor, and then registered with the Public Guardian Scotland (OPG)to take effect.

For a basic single POA, the fee may be £200 plus vat £40. There may be an additional fee if a home or hospital visit is required. The outlay is currently £81, charged by and paid to the OPG.

Guardianship (Incapacity)


The Application for a Guardian is a complex and very detailed court process involving much documentation and formal reporting by various parties, officials, and personnel to satisfy the court that the court order is necessary and appropriate. It also involves personal appearance at court by the solicitor to conduct at least one formal hearing in front of the sheriff before the order is permitted and awarded. The exact extent/amount of work cannot be specified in advance as it is dependent on so many different factors unique to each case. The Terms of Engagement letter often requires to include a time and line/hourly/unit rate charge.

A possible fee (based on that hourly/time and line formula) may be £2,300 plus vat £460.

Outlays may include Sheriff Court initial dues £129, additional fee £56, psychiatric fee £240, medical report £224, sheriff officers for service of application etc. £140.

Where an application has been made for legal aid the Adults estate shall be liable for the work involved to apply and have awarded legal aid and any other expenses or legal fees not covered by the legal aid certificate.

A possible fee (based on that hourly/time and line formula) for work in the application and award of legal aid is £350.00 plus vat £70.00.


Executry is the name used by lawyers for the work required in winding up the estate of someone who has died. It is another area where it is difficult, and often impossible, to give accurate levels of fee in advance. The Terms of Engagement often require to include a time-and-line/hourly/unit rate charge. It also makes a difference to the amount of work whether or not there is available a valid will signed by the deceased – more work and other costs are likely if there is no will. The work may involve meetings and consultations between the family/executor and the solicitor, collating and valuing the assets and liabilities of the estate, corresponding with financial and other institutions (e.g. banks, building societies, share registrars, employers/pension administrators, DWP, HMRC, council tax departments, factors, mortgage lenders and more), drawing court documents and forms  for Confirmation (Scottish equivalent of Probate), dealing with the Sheriff Court processing the forms, ingathering the financial estate (i.e. collecting in all the money), accounting to the executor and distributing the bequests and shares of estate among beneficiaries.

There may also be a home/heritable property to sell or settle. That work is not included in this example as it is a conveyancing process (see Sale of Property above), nor is calculating and dealing with Inheritance Tax, which affects only a limited number of estates and generates considerable work.

The fee for executry work in winding up a particular estate may be in one case £2,400 plus vat £480.

Outlays may include Court Confirmation dues of £261 plus £8 for each individual asset certificate if needed.

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Office Location / Contact Information

J. Watson Scott & Co Solicitors
Unit 3
McAdam House
1 Cadzow lane
Hamilton ML3 6AY

Tel: (01698) 282 370
Fax: (01698) 423209
DX HA 64
E: mail@watsonscott.co.uk

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