Thoughts from a Yorkshire Solicitor

Thoughts from a Yorkshire Solicitor

As Solicitors, we still get a bit of a rum deal when it comes to our public perception. Most of my friends think I’m rich (I wish!). I’m from Yorkshire, and so I like to save money like anyone. Most Solicitors specialising in advising the older client are motivated primarily by helping people – that’s certainly true for me. Yes, we have to charge for our services but our charges are fair and transparent, as they have to be under our professional rules.

Some common questions which I am often asked when I meet new people are as follows:

•  What’s the difference between a Will writer and a Solicitor? Essentially, a Will writer does not need legal qualifications to practice. In instructing a Solicitor, you are receiving advice from someone who has had to undertake years of study and training. It also scares me that anyone (and I do mean anyone) can set up business as a Will writer. They also often charge as much or more than Solicitors.

•  So, why should I instruct a Solicitor to draw up my Lasting Power of Attorney or other legal document? This is obviously a personal choice for you as the consumer but I always say that I would not choose to repair my own car etc. Yes, you have to pay, but you are not just saving time in instructing a Solicitor, you are also ensuring that the job is done correctly. 

•  How much do we charge? Solicitors are increasingly offering their services on a fixed priced basis. This is due to a variety of reasons including increased competition from the internet and unqualified lawyers. There is nothing worse than employing a professional and being given a loose estimate of fees based on an hourly rate. Sometimes, due to the complexity of the matter, this is the only way we can charge the client, but much of the time, we can provide the client with a fixed fee. In my previous role, I developed a legal service which was nearly all fixed fee. This gives the client certainty and confidence from the outset that the price will not change, and they can budget accordingly.

•  Why should I pay you to draw up my Will when I could do it online for very little? Basically, in instructing a Solicitor, you are paying for a qualified and experienced professional to advise you on the most appropriate way to draft your Will. This advice will often involve inheritance tax and care fee planning. Furthermore, homemade Wills are often wrongly executed and therefore doing it yourself can prove to be a very expensive false economy.

•  What’s Solicitors for the Elderly? Well, we are a national group of lawyers who specialise in providing legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers. We are all highly experienced having spent a substantial amount of time working in this field, and have had to prove our competence by passing an examination to join the organisation. We are also committed to delivering an excellent standard of service to clients, as a condition of membership.

Andrew Gullett - King Street Solicitors
Andrew is a very experienced Solicitor, and a specialist in acting for the older client, especially those who are living with dementia. He is a full accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.
AG@kingstreetsolicitors.co.uk
www.kingstreetsolicitors.co.uk