Terms and Conditions
Athena and AthenaProbate.co.uk are trading styles of Athena Probate Limited (CRN 12380893) whose registered office is at 42a High Street Broadstairs Kent CT10 1JT (“Athena”) . In these terms of business “we” or “our” refer Athena. These terms of business govern only our estate administration services and not any other services provided by Athena or any services provided by Athena’s sister company Blanchards Inheritance Ltd.
Your relationship with Athena
Your relationship is solely with Athena, and Athena has sole legal liability for the work done for you and for any act or omission in the course of that work. No director, consultant or employee of Athena will have any personal legal liability for that work done for you by Athena whether in contract, tort or negligence. In particular, the fact that an individual member, consultant or employee signs in his or her own name any letter or other document in the course of carrying out that work does not mean he or she is assuming any personal legal liability for that letter or document.
Our offices at 34 The Oaks Invicta Way Ramsgate Kent CT10 5FN are open from 9.00am to 5.00pm on weekdays (excluding bank holidays). Attendance at the office is strictly by appointment only.
Work we carry out
We arrange for the full estate administration according to the Inheritance Act of 1975.
How we work
Work will be done by those able to do it competently and cost-effectively and subject to appropriate supervision. You will be allocated a main point of contact for your case. We will keep you regularly informed of progress of your case via our portal on our website. Our relationship is with you, and we owe a duty of care only to you. No other person may rely on our advice or on these terms without our prior written agreement.
Limitation of Liability
If despite our best efforts we may make a mistake, by which we mean any breach of our duties to you. If we do, and are liable to compensate you, you agree that our liability is limited in the following respects:
it is the Athena that is liable, not an individual director or member of staff of Athena ; you agree to make no claim against an individual except in the case of fraud. You and we intend that this clause is for the benefit of, and shall be enforceable by, the directors and staff of Athena under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999;
our maximum liability for any mistake (except for fraud) is £1 million including contractual and statutory interest (unless we agree a different amount with you in writing);
this overall limit applies whether the mistake affects just one piece of work we do for you or several, so long as it is the same or a similar mistake;
for the purpose of the overall limit, more than one mistake on a matter or transaction is considered as one mistake;
we are liable for loss that we directly cause and for any indirect or consequential loss or loss of anticipated profit or other benefit, where that total liability does not exceed £1 million. Otherwise we have no liability for any indirect or consequential loss or loss of anticipated profit or other benefit by you;
we are not liable to the extent that our mistake results from something you do or fail to do (such as giving us the wrong information, or not giving us information at the time we ask for it);
if others are also responsible for your loss, our liability is limited to our fair share of the proportion which is found to be fairly and reasonably due to our fault, whether or not you are able to recover the rest from the others. We shall not be liable to pay you the proportion which is due to the fault of another party.
we shall not be liable for any loss arising from or connected with our compliance with any statutory obligation which we may have, or reasonably believe we may have, to report matters to the relevant authorities under the provisions of the money laundering legislation;
we believe the limitations on our liability set out in this section are a reasonable amount having regard to our assessment of:
the amount of any likely liability to you if we make a mistake;
the availability and cost of professional indemnity insurance; and
possible changes in the future availability and cost of insurance;
but we are happy to discuss the limit with you if you consider it insufficient for your purposes, and if appropriate we may then consider whether we are able to provide a higher limit at extra cost to you.
These limits apply to the extent that they are permitted by law and do not exclude liability for death or personal injury. If any part of this section of our terms which seeks to limit liability is found by a court to be void or ineffective on the grounds that it is unreasonable or does not accord with any professional obligation, the remaining provisions shall continue to be effective.
If you think we have made a mistake we have no liability for any breach of our duties to you unless you let us know in writing about the mistake within 12 months of becoming aware of it, and start any legal proceedings about it within 12 months of giving us that written notice.
We will keep confidential all information about you and your affairs and not disclose it to anyone outside Athena without your consent. However you do hereby consent to that disclosure:
in the proper handling of your work;
on a confidential basis to Athena’s accountants who make random checks of files;
to our professional indemnity insurers;
where compelled by professional regulations or by law, such as a court order;
on a confidential basis to any external provider of administration services.
If we are compelled to disclose information, or if you ask us to object to disclosure, we may charge for the work involved.
Any personal details that we use to provide or promote our services to you will not be passed to any third party organisation for marketing purposes without your permission.
Athena complies with the Data Protection Act 2018 in the United Kingdom. We respect the privacy of personal email accounts and we store your email address as securely as any other personal information we hold. We will not send you unwanted email messages or junk mail and your details will not be passed to any organisation outside Athena without your permission. We may use email to send you messages to keep you up to date with news about our services either online or through other contact with Athena .
We both agree not to issue any publicity material or information to the media about our relationship and the work we are doing without the other’s consent, save where the information is already in the public domain.
We routinely use email to communicate, and whilst we have normal levels of security in place, you accept the risk that email communications may not be secure.
Money laundering activity and proceeds of crime
You accept that we must comply with the law and rules about money laundering and proceeds of crime. We have to check the identity of all clients. We will not be able to handle any money until we have confirmed your identity.
We also have to report, without telling you, any activity that we suspect may involve the proceeds of crime. We may in some circumstances have to stop acting for you as a result of the money laundering legislation.
The proceeds of crime are defined very widely and include, for example, money gained as a result of unlawful tax avoidance or through the evasion of payment of any similar charges or duties. Our duty to report may override any duty of confidentiality that we owe to you.
Athena complies with the current law on data protection. We store and process information about our clients in the context of our business. We are able, in most circumstances, to supply you on request with copies of the information which we store about you.
You accept that to enable us to comply with our obligation to check your identity, to make credit decisions about you and to prevent fraud we may search the electoral roll and the files of credit reference agencies who will record any credit searches on your file.
Our current fee as displayed on our website applies to acting for you in your capacity as executor or administrator of an estate only, which is not subject to inheritance tax and where HMRC form 205 can be used; and which does not fall within the exceptions referred to in the following paragraph. Our fee does not include disbursements. We have a minimum fee of £350 plus vat and in all cases which do not fall within the exceptions referred to in the following paragraph the maximum charge will be £7000 plus vat ( ie 40 hours ) no matter how long we spend on dealing with the estate administration.
The fee below is for estate administration only.
£175 + VAT Per Hour (Minimum of 2 hours)
Exceptions and disbursements
We reserve the right to charge a higher fee for estates having a gross value in excess of £325,000 and estates which include foreign property, business assets, farm land or 15 or more individual investment holdings.
In addition to our fee we will charge all third party expenses (commonly called disbursements) including: probate registry and other government charges, advertisements for creditors (if necessary), charges made by property and asset valuers, and financial asset search fees and the cost of any insurance policies taken out for the benefit of the personal representatives.
For the avoidance of doubt our fee does not include the conveyancing costs for transferring of any properties or the sale costs for disposing of any other assets included in the estate which will be payable in addition to our fee .
Transfer of money
Where we have to transfer money on your behalf we cannot to so until the money has cleared the banking system. If the money has not been cleared we will not make the payment for you. We may charge you an administration fee for money transfers made on your behalf.
Our current fee for our grant only service as displayed on our website includes VAT. Otherwise, VAT is payable on fees and expenses at the applicable rate. Our VAT registration number is 340 7668 91.
Money we hold
We may pay any outstanding invoice by deduction from money we hold on your behalf (including money received from others).
Holding your money
If we hold money on your behalf, we will place it in a bank account (“client account”) designated for clients. Our main bankers are Lloyds Bank PLC, but we may hold accounts with other banks from time to time and we will provide details on request.
It is unlikely that we will be liable for losses resulting from a banking failure. If you suffer loss of money held in our client account due to failure of the bank and we make a claim on your behalf under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) we will, subject to your consent, give certain information about you to the FSCS to help them identify amounts to which you and other clients are entitled.
The FSCS indemnity is available to individuals only. You should note that the £85,000 FSCS indemnity limit applies to each individual. Accordingly, if you hold other money in the same bank the limit will be £85,000 in total (i.e. your other money will be aggregated with the money we hold for you in that bank). Remember that some deposit taking institutions have several brands or trade names. The £85,000 limit applies per institution, not to each brand. You should check either with your bank, the Financial Services Authority or a financial adviser for more information.
Investments and Financial Services
We are not authorised to advise on financial and investment matters. We may therefore have to refer you to someone who is authorised.
Diversity and Equality
We are a small company that believes that excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual. We aim to create an environment that respects the diversity of staff and clients, enabling us to achieve our full potential and our clients derive maximum benefit from our services.
To this end, we acknowledge the following basic rights for all staff members and clients:
to be treated with respect and dignity
to be treated fairly with regard to all procedures, assessments and choices
These rights carry responsibilities and we require all members of our staff to recognise these rights and act in accordance with them. In addition, we comply with all relevant legislation and good practice.
No individual will be unjustly discriminated against. This includes, but is not limited to, discrimination because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received you should make contact by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with full details of your complaint. We will investigate the matter promptly and thoroughly and provide a written response. We will also provide a copy of our complaints procedure on request. If you are still unhappy, you should refer the matter to our Director, Sophie Blanchard, who will review the handling of your complaint and report back to you in writing.
These terms and our relationship will be governed by English Law. We each submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.