Vulnerable clients not taking full advantage of legal services

Vulnerable and older clients living with mental illnesses such as dementia are “not taking full advantage” of the range of legal services that are currently on offer to them, a new study reveals.

According to research published by the Legal Services Board (LSB) in recent days, the majority of people living with mental illnesses that have met with solicitors to discuss plans for their future have found such meetings to be “useful and satisfying”.

A series of 60 surveys carried out by the LSB in collaboration with Research Works generally found that most mentally ill clients and their carers received an “extremely positive” and “appropriate service” from their solicitor.

Researchers said: “Their expectations – of being listened to and understood, and of receiving clear, helpful advice – were fulfilled and, despite some reservations about cost, most felt that they had received an appropriate service.”

However, researchers added that many respondents “did not seek, or make use of” the full range of information provided to them regarding the different services on offer.

In some cases, clients “were not taking full advantage” of the different services available to them, such as Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).

In others, clients reported that they “felt confused about the services on offer” and “needed more time and space” to decide which steps they wanted to follow.

Previous research highlighted by the media in recent months has estimated that around 95 per cent of UK adults do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney, while it is thought that around 40 per cent do not have a Will.

For a friendly, clear explanation of either of these services, how they may benefit you and how you can attain them, please get in touch with our expert Private Client team.

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