FAQs – a guide before you instruct a Solicitor

Whether you or your business are looking to instruct a solicitor, we are here to help. You need a law firm which you can trust, which understands your priorities and delivers practical, exceptional value legal solutions. Below is a list of frequently asked questions that aim to give you initial guidance on your matter.

Do you have a link to the Client Satisfaction Surveys?

Yes if you are looking to submit a feedback form you can do so here.

Do you have a notary?

No unfortunately we do not have a notary however we do have a list of local notaries available here.

Can a Solicitor act for both sides?

In general we do not act for both sides of the case unless in extraordinary circumstances.

Is legal aid available for me?

We only offer LegalAid for certain family cases. Click here to read in more detail.

In regards to a dispute, we do not offer legal aid of any kind.

Do I need a Solicitor when buying or selling a home?

Yes you would need to instruct a residential property solicitor when buying or selling your home. They will handle the legal complexities involved.

Do you provide initial advice on a dispute via a phone call?

We cannot give an overview of the advice we can offer via a quick phone call. We are required to carry out a certain amount of work before the legal case can begin.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is an earlier version of a Lasting Power of Attorney. If you already have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place (either registered or unregistered) don’t worry; they are still valid documents and can still be used. However, if you were looking to put an EPA in place, then this is no longer possible as Lasting Powers of Attorney have replaced the EPA regime.

Lasting Powers of Attorney are similar to EPAs, but it gives the attorneys you’ve chosen more power and control over your affairs than an EPA originally provided for. A Lasting Power of Attorney is split into two documents; Property & Finance and Health & Welfare. An LPA for Property & Finance is a document that lets the attorneys you’ve chosen take over your finances when or if you are no longer able to deal with it yourself. An LPA for Health & Welfare gives one or more trusted people the legal power to make decisions about your medical treatment, life sustaining treatment options and your general healthcare when you no longer have the capacity to make those sorts of decisions yourself.

A Living Will (also sometimes called Advance Directives) are a lot less common nowadays as they have mostly been replaced with LPAs for Health & Welfare. LPAs are generally a lot more useful and flexible than living Wills. We are still able to create living Wills, but we would normally have a free initial consultation with you first to see if a living Will would be appropriate for you and your circumstances.

If you are an attorney on an EPA, then it is important that you read the EPA; especially the front page. This details when the EPA needs to be registered, which is most commonly when the donor (known as the person giving the power of attorney) has lost capacity. This is something that we are able to assist with, as it can be quite a lengthy process.

You may wish to seek medical advice in regards to the donor’s capacity. If the donor clearly no longer has capacity and you are found to be using an unregistered EPA, then there could be serious consequences.

If you are still not sure if an EPA needs to be registered, please contact one of the members of our IPT team.

If someone you know has lost the capacity to make decisions for themselves, and they have not made an LPA or EPA whilst they had capacity, then a Deputyship order will give you the ability and legal authority to make decisions on behalf of that person. A Deputyship order is often put in place when someone has become permanently ill, they have a disability or if they have disturbance in the functioning of the mind or brain, such as dementia or a stroke.

With a Deputyship order, part of the process is applying to the Court of Protection to authorise you to become a deputy over someone who has lost capacity. This is different from a Lasting Power of Attorney, which is where the donor themselves appoints their own attorneys when they still have capacity to make decisions for themselves.

If you feel that a Deputyship order might be required for someone you care for, please feel free to contact us and we can discuss the process with you in more detail.

If you have any questions that do not appear above, please contact a member of the team.

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