Dealing with Vulnerable Clients

As solicitors we have a duty, so far as reasonably practicable, to assist vulnerable clients to express their wishes, understand relevant advice, give proper instructions and carry through valid acts and transactions.

In doing this we require to deploy a number of skills which generally are not taught at law school.  We need to ensure that, as well as discharging those duties, we are also clear that our clients have got capacity to give us instructions on any given point.

Clients with dementia may be very vulnerable although not necessarily without capacity.

At Gilson Gray we have a team of private client practitioners who are experienced in dealing with such matters.  We know that some situations can exacerbate the effects of illness.  So we offer meetings on a flexible basis, in different locations and at times of the day (or evening) which suits with the routine of the person involved.  Our offices are accessible and private to reduce background noise and ensure a professional environment, should that be the best place to conduct the meeting.

And we are happy to take as much time as is needed.

When we communicate in writing (either traditionally by letter or by email) we always try to avoid jargon but we can also simplify our documents to suit the recipient, use different (large) fonts and can adapt to using different types of technology.  We are aware some people find reading on a screen more straightforward than on a page and others the reverse.

Our instructions don’t always need to be by spoken word.  Clients can write things down and we can ask questions in that way.  If someone finds it difficult to deal with long or multi-faceted questions we break things down and, if helpful, use closed questioning to help clarify points.

We enjoy working with all our clients and offering flexibility to make the experience good for everyone.   Please do not hesitate to contact us to set up discussion about any of the things which we offer through our private client team – your Will, your Power of Attorney or any other private matters.

If you would like further information regarding the topics discussed in this blog, please contact:

Dorothy Kellas by email: dkellas@gilsongray.co.uk or by phone: 01620 897 174 / 07711 984 919

Gilson Gray have experience of these applications and of acting as professional guardians as well.  If you wish any further information please contact our Private Client Team on privateclient@gilsongray.co.uk

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