For the majority of pensioners, a solicitor is most likely to be needed where conveyancing, divorce or probate are concerned.

Conveyancing is the process through which a property is bought or sold, and in essence, is a simple series of actions which most solicitors can get wrong or delay in any number of ways.

Divorce is even more problematic and attracts the most aggressive and malevolent solicitors, who normally see their role as creating the maximum amount of friction, disagreement, hostility and lasting hatred.

Probate is by far the least stressful of the three, since you’ll be dead when any errors or oversights come to light.

Whichever matter you’re consulting a solicitor about, always bear in mind that the days are long gone when their function was to dispense sound legal advice in a reassuring and trustworthy manner.  These days, you’re principally seen as a fee generator and you should expect to be routinely charged for breathing in their offices, opening their letters, answering their phone calls, driving past their house and owning the same sort of dog.

Unless you’re extremely wealthy or related to the Attorney General, legal aid will almost certainly not be available if you’re pursuing or defending an action in court, although free advice may be obtained from a very junior solicitor if they’re being sponsored for Children in Need or a similar charity.