What to take with you when you see a solicitor

There are many reasons you may need to see a solicitor, from seeking general advice to specific events such as a house purchase, making a will, a divorce, or setting up a business.

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Finding a solicitor is straightforward and it is important to remember that if you are not happy with the service provided, you can always make a change.

By making an initial enquiry, you can satisfy yourself that the solicitor is someone you feel comfortable speaking to and that they have the expertise you need.

Documentation

Your first port of call will probably be a firm that is local to you and easy to access; for example, if you are based in the South West or The Cotswolds, you will find a range of Gloucester solicitors such as www.deeandgriffin.co.uk/.

Once you have chosen your solicitor, you will need to make an appointment for a face-to-face meeting. At this point, it is important to explain your needs and to check what documentation you should take with you for your first meeting.

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As a new client, the solicitor will have to carry out identification checks. These are legal requirements on their part, as they must ensure that any transaction does not involve money laundering.

Costs

There are simple documents that can confirm you are bona fide, such as a passport, a driving licence with photo ID, proof of address such as a household bill, or a benefits book. The government website provides a proof of identity checklist.

You may be entitled to legal aid to help with your costs, so check with the firm what proof of income you need to provide if you qualify for this. It is important to get a clear idea of the costs as soon as you contact your solicitor. They will assess the costs during the legal process and keep you up to date throughout your case.

Some firms may offer free advice on what is known as a pro bono basis if you cannot afford fees and legal aid is not available.

In addition to documentation, it is helpful to write down the questions you want to ask during the appointment. You may also wish to take a friend or family member along to the meeting to help and support you.

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