Blacks Solicitors LLP
Blacks Solicitors is a Leeds based legal practice providing services to both the business community and private clients. Our Wills and Probate Team provide advice on Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection work.
- 8 December 2014
- Yorkshire and Humber
- Local Alliances:
- Leeds Dementia Action Alliance, Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?
As a solicitor's practice, we provide legal services to clients in Leeds and the surrounding areas. Our aim is to ensure that all of our staff provide a warm and welcoming environment for those living with dementia and their carers.
We have a department within the firm that specialises in Wills & Probate that prides ourselves on specialising in elderly client advice including Wills, Probate, Trusts and Court of Protection (mental capacity) advice.
We are strongly committed to providing practical legal solutions for families and two of the solicitors in our team are Dementia Friends. Another of the solicitors here at Blacks is a Dementia Friends Champion.
People often assume that a diagnosis of dementia means that a friend or family member can no longer make decisions but we pride ourselves on the ability to treat each client as an individual and provide appropriate practical support as well as legal support.
We also present seminars to local community groups and charities about the importance of making Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney as we are keen to ensure that the people of Leeds have the right documents in place to help look after them in the future.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
We find that there is still a lot of resistance from certain clients about wanting to think about planning for their later years. We try and combat this by educating people that making a Will and a Power of Attorney is not ‘tempting fate’ and is a sound planning advice tool. We present this information in informal settings such as talks at community groups and will continue to do so as despite our work in this area, we are seeing an increasing number of clients who are unable to sign legal documents as they lack capacity.
In our organisation, we have over 100 staff members based in two separate offices and therefore communicating the ethos of the Dementia Action Alliance and how we can help clients with dementia needs to be communicated carefully across all staff members.
Other departments such as our property and commercial teams are increasingly seeing clients who are living with dementia and it is important they understand the specialist nature of this work.
Adaptations to the office environment
Hanover House is wheelchair accessible. Home visits are available for clients who are unable to attend the office.
Dementia Friends information sessions for all staff
Aim to offer a Dementia Friends information session to all interested staff at Blacks.