Clearly it makes sense for clients to keep their important legal documents safely – after-all, if they are lost or damaged at the time they are needed, the client will have lost the benefit of making the documents in the first place.

However document storage is not without its issues for both the professional advisor and the client. Typical issues surrounding document storage which the Institute of Professional Willwriters is reporting include:

  1. Who deals with any request for document access while the Professional Advisor is on holiday, or ill?
  2. What happens to the documents stored by Professional Advisors who cease trading or who disappear, either suddenly, or over a period of time?
  3. Where does the Professional Advisor physically store documents? Keeping them in the office or at home is not a realistic long term option.
  4. What happens to the documents when the Professional Advisor retires or dies?
  5. The only viable fee collection facility for small businesses is by standing order, whereby fixed payments are made by the clients bank from the client to the Professional Advisor. This creates the following issues:
  • Sometimes the instructions are set up incorrectly by the bank.
  • Sometimes the mandate is not set up by the bank at all.
  • And the biggest problem – there is no mechanism to increase payments over a period of time.
  • For sole trader Professional Advisors, upon retirement, there is no mechanism to re-direct standing order payments from their sole trader business bank account to the bank account of a buyer of the business. New mandates have to be completed by all the clients and the low probability of this happening, and happening efficiently, will seriously affect the saleability of the business.

This lack of flexibility causes real problems, which only become apparent after several years of trading when there are hundreds, if not thousands of documents in storage.

By then it is too late to do anything about it, so it makes sense to plan for the long term right from the earliest possible moment.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you with a solution for the storage of your clients legal documents with us, please contact us

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