Lawyers sometimes ‘exert undue influence’ on elderly clients to force them to make decisions, a guide published this week by the Legal Ombudsman warns.

People can often ‘feel intimidated’ when dealing with professionals, the guide adds, but ‘good lawyers will welcome questions’.

The guide says that ‘lawyers shouldn’t charge for looking at a complaint you have made against them’. If you are unhappy with your lawyer’s investigation into your complaint, then ‘you can contact the LeO for help’.

Legal Ombudsman offices

Legal Ombudsman offices

On a more positive note, the guide advises the elderly that there is ‘no such thing as a silly question’ and that they should not hesitate to ‘ask what words mean’. It also warns them not to assume that because some lawyers offer a free initial consultation, all of them do.

Finding the right lawyer to act for you is not always easy, the guide concedes, but suggests asking family or friends for a recommendation, using a find-a-lawyer search tool or contacting Age UK or a Citizens Advice Bureau for free guidance.

Using a lawyer as you get older: Ten top tips was published this week.