From buying a home to making a will, there are many times in life we need expert advice from a solicitor. But what problems can occur if someone decides to deal with a legal issue alone rather than consulting a solicitor? And why is it important to seek expert advice tailored to your needs from a professional? Michael Brierley discussed this and more live on Twitter this morning during #SolicitorChat.
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What are the most common issues that occur when someone chooses to deal with a legal issue alone?
Bluntly, they get it wrong. They do something that they think achieves their objective but in fact does something different – and on occasions does the opposite of what they wanted. Getting it wrong not only complicates everything but often results in significant costs in putting things right.
Taking a DIY approach to dealing with legal issues can be seen as a way to save on costs, how does your legal advice provide clients with value for money?
On the face of things getting legal advice is the expensive option however a solicitor is trained to know how to solve the issue and will do so in the most cost effective way possible. It is also worth thinking about ‘cost’ beyond money. Solicitors often reduce the ‘emotional cost’ of resolving a complicated matter.
Why is it important to give tailored and unique advice to clients?
Solicitors are problem solvers. No two people have the exact same problem, which means every solution must be catered to the factors that the client presents. If the solicitor does not have all the information or gives a general solution then the client is unlikely to be satisfied with the outcome. Even a married couple who want to achieve the same thing in their wills may end up with very different wills.
What are the key times in life someone should speak to a solicitor?
Most transactional decisions require the assistance of a solicitor. This is particularly so when things looks simple. It is often these ‘deals’ or ‘arrangements’ that cause the most headaches later on. DIY wills are also a terrible idea.
I have built a career dealing with disputes that often stem from a homemade will. Clients often mistakenly believe that the simpler they keep things the less problems they can cause. I find the opposite is true. There is a reason that even a solicitor’s ‘simple’ will can run to several pages.
What would you say to someone who is considering dealing with a legal issue alone rather than consulting a solicitor?
There is no question that solicitors are expensive. The fact that most charge for every 6 minutes they work says it all. However, a transaction that has gone wrong or a family arrangement that was poorly thought through has the very real prospect of costing everyone far more in the end. Use a solicitor.
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