With the ever escalating costs of administering an estate after the death of a loved one, and now the increased price for a each death certificate issued, we asked Guy Birtwistle, Associate Solicitor in our Wills and Probate department to...
Older & Vulnerable Client Care Procedures
We appreciate that it is especially important to treat older clients, their families and representatives, with additional consideration, by being both sympathetic and sensitive to any issues they may have.
We endeavour therefore to ensure that our firm and all of our employees treat older clients, their families and their representatives with kindness, dignity and respect at all times.
Due to the nature of the advice we may need to give, it is important for us to see our clients alone initially. However, we appreciate that some clients may be more comfortable having a relative or trusted friend with them during a meeting and so we will try to accommodate this when we can.
We shall need an opportunity to see our client alone, but we will do our upmost to make sure that the client feels at ease, and understands why it is necessary for us to see them alone initially.
Our written notes of meetings will include a record of anyone our client has asked be present with them at any meeting. If a client declines to have someone present with them, at any meeting, this will also be noted. We will ensure that all relevant facts are included in our attendance note of any meeting. We will send clients a note of our initial meeting so they can review the instructions they have given us.
In all cases, the pace and duration of each meeting is aligned to the needs of our clients.
Where legal terminology has to be used, we take care to ensure that our client understands what has been said. We will not proceed until we are satisfied the client has understood what has been said and that the client is comfortable to continue.
We will take steps to make ourselves aware of any potential capacity or physical limitations such as mobility, hearing or visual impairment. As far as possible, we will take these matters into account when meeting and communicating with older clients.
Correspondence and documentation can be produced in large print if necessary. Where appropriate, we will offer to visit our client at home. However, if a client visits our office, we will let him know what parking facilities and access are available and ensure that toilet facilities are readily accessible. We have meeting rooms on the ground floor and there are no steps to negotiate when accessing our offices.
We are sensitive to the possibility that older clients may be discomforted if they do not have current passports or driving licences. Extra care is therefore taken not to cause our clients any embarrassment, while ensuring that requirements for proof of a client’s identity are met.