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Coming into the office – Wills, LPAs and Probate

19 August 2020

Following on from several months of ‘Lock-Down’, Poole Alcock opened for (pre-booked) client appointments from the middle of June. While many of our staff have remained at home, working remotely, we are pleased that more and more people are able to safely return each day. Clients are still offered telephone or ‘Zoom’ appointments where necessary, but for some meetings – face to face is preferable.

In the Private Client department, we feel like our clients may particularly benefit from having meetings in person. Whether it’s to go through their Will, to sign a Lasting Power of Attorney, or to discuss the estate of a loved one who has recently passed away, we want our clients to feel as comfortable as possible.

Face to face meetings can feel more personal than a digital meeting, and are subject to fewer technical difficulties! However, we understand that the Covid-19 crisis is not yet over, and that clients may feel nervous about coming into the office. We have in place rigorous procedures to keep you and our staff as safe as possible at all times.

Centrally booked appointments

At present, any and all meetings held on our premises are booked through a single person at Poole Alcock. They can then easily keep track of how many people are in the office at any one time. They also monitor the visitor and staff sign in sheets for any ‘track and trace’ purposes should this become necessary.

We are restricting the number of people waiting in reception at any one time – so anyone arriving particularly early, or ‘popping in’ to drop in documents, may be asked to wait outside until reception is less busy.

We are also ensuring to telephone all clients due to come into the office each day on the morning of their appointment to ensure they have not experienced any Covid-19 symptoms, and are aware of the requirements to wear a mask.

Masks worn by all clients coming into the building

In accordance with the current regulations, all clients entering the premises will be asked to wear a mask or other face covering. If they do not have one of their own, we have a supply of hygienically stored masks which can be provided.

If you, or someone joining you, has a medical exemption for using a mask, please let us know in advance.

Masks/shields worn by all staff in client facing areas.

Although (at present) members of staff are not obliged to wear masks during the day, our policy is to keep the environment as safe for clients as possible. As such, all members of staff entering any areas that clients also have access to (reception, the meeting room etc) will wear either a mask or a face shield.

The lawyer you will see will also wear a mask or a face shield for the duration of your appointment.

Social distance maintained at all times.

We have marked out areas in reception to make it easier to keep 2m apart from other people in the building. We have also erected clear screens on reception, and across the meeting room table to provide an extra level of protection.

Cleaning schedules

Our meeting rooms have all been given timetabled slots for seeing clients. In between these there is an allocated time slot for a member of staff to clean all relevant surfaces (such as door handles, and chairs) and to remove any items or rubbish that may have been left in a previous meeting.

If you are shielding, or do not yet feel ready for a face to face meeting, we completely understand. We are still pleased to offer appointments over the phone, or over ‘Zoom’ if you would prefer. Just let the person arranging the appointment know your preferences and we will be happy to oblige.

To book you appointment today, call 01270 613939


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