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Over the last 20 years the number of ways we can communicate with each other has increased dramatically as a result of increased public access to the world wide web and the creation of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype.
Instant messaging and replies are now common place and part of day to day life with over 7 billion people owning at least one mobile phone in 2012.
Many law firms, including Ramsdens, have found ways to adapt to the change in client preferences for contact, with few solely relying on the writing of a letter in order to obtain client instruction. A combined use of email, telephone and face to face contact along with letter correspondence helps to develop a client's matter quickly and allows you, as the client, to get in touch with us whenever is convenient rather than being limited to the hours of 9-5, 5 days a week.
Communication is not only needed for the day to day running of your matter, it is also key to ensuring that what we as your solicitor are doing is actually what you require, especially when making the decision to register a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is a document that at a point in time will mean someone else will make key decisions regarding your finance and/or welfare instead of you.
In order for you to give us instruction for legal work you need to have mental capacity. The general position is that everyone has mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. But what does this mean?
The legal definition is that someone who lacks capacity cannot do one or more of the following:-
-Understand the information given to them
-Retain that information long enough to be able to make a decision
-Use the information available to make a decision
-Communicate their decision
Often it is the case that clients are able to do the first three points above but are unable to communicate their decision. If you are unable to communicate what you want, how can we as your solicitor know what to do?
Efforts therefore need to be made to ensure that all possible ways of communication are explored before deciding whether or not someone lacks mental capacity. These methods can include verbal confirmation rather then written confirmation, sign language, the blinking of an eye, the squeezing of a hand or even the use of symbols or emoticons to confirm agreement to what is being said.
Here at Ramsdens Solicitors we understand that communication is key when making potential life changing decisions regarding your future. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you with preparing and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney. Call us on 01484 821 500, text LAW to 67777 or email email@example.com.