Using a Solicitor as you Get Older


As you get older, you may find that you are more in need of legal services than you were before. Whether it is to make or amend a will, sell or buy property or to make sure your finances are in order, there may come a time when you cannot make the decision yourself.

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Making provisions for the future can seem a daunting and emotional task. It is important to choose a solicitor that will lay all of your options on the table and ensure that you understand them all in the simplest way possible so you can make an informed choice.

How do I choose a solicitor?

Choosing the right solicitor is key to getting what you want in terms of quality of service. It is best to choose a solicitor who has experience in providing elderly legal services. There are a number of organisations out there that can help you find a good solicitor.

One of Simpson Millar LLP's top specialists recommends one such service: "There is an independent association of solicitors called 'Solicitors for the Elderly' where membership is given only to solicitors who comply with certain standards and whose members specialise in providing advice to elderly or vulnerable individuals. I’d recommend this as a good starting point when looking for a solicitor." She is a full member of the Solicitors for the Elderly and has had to satisfy the strict standards imposed by the organisation to be recommended by the site.

Always ask questions when consulting your solicitor. There is no such thing as a silly question and you can never ask too many. If they are the right solicitor for you they will answer all of your questions in the most simple and helpful way.

Try to approach your solicitor with a clear plan about what you want and ask them about possible costs. Be clear about what you can afford and be honest about your budget.

If you prefer to be contacted by phone or post make this clear to them so the service they provide can be as efficient as possible.

What Can My Solicitor Do for Me?

Solicitors now offer a wide range of legal services for the elderly. This could be anything from advice and help about funding care home fees or protecting your wealth and helping you to become financially secure for the future.

Whatever service you are using your solicitor for, they should aim to explain to you what their role will be in the simplest of terms. If your solicitor is using words you don't understand it is important to ask them to clarify. Solicitors often use complicated words and forget that not everyone will understand their meaning. It is important to know what you are agreeing or disagreeing with.

What if I'm Not Happy with the Services I Receive?

Usually, when there is a breakdown in communication between you and the solicitor this can lead to you receiving a service that you did not ask for. If there is something wrong with the service your solicitor is providing, you should try to tell them.

It is important to remember that you are paying for the service and you are entitled to the best service they can provide. Try to stay calm when complaining to your solicitor, after all they will be working to the best of their ability and most solicitors would like you to return to use their services.

If you cannot resolve the problem with your solicitor you can always contact the Legal Ombudsmen. They consider complaints if you are not satisfied with the work your solicitor does or any legal service you receive. They also accept complaints on behalf of anyone who has passed away or their representatives.

The specialist from Simpson Millar LLP, also said: "For an older person, who has perhaps not had much need for legal services in the past, using a solicitor can be a daunting experience. It’s the responsibility of us lawyers to ensure that we use straightforward language, make sure our client understands the legal issues and has time to make a considered decision. It’s equally important that from the start we’re clear about our costs. Many more solicitors are offering fixed fees, which gives a client certainty from the outset".

There are many legal services you may be in need of as you get older. Making the most of these services is key to getting the best outcome for you and your family. Using a solicitor does not have to be complicated especially when you know how and can have a positive effect as you get older.

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