A VALE of Clwyd solicitor has offered emotional and legal support to “vulnerable” families and patients at a hospice.

Denbigh lawyer Shian Hughes said that having a will in place “is the last thing on your mind” when caring for someone who is terminally ill, however it can reduce unnecessary stress and help manage the bereavement process.

Research shows the number of adults at risk of dying without a valid will is about 60 per cent.

Mrs Hughes’ firm, QualitySolicitors Edward Hughes, will hold free monthly advice sessions at the St Kentigern Hospice to give expert guidance in probate enquiries including wills and power of attorney.

The St Asaph care centre for terminally ill patients provides physical, psychological, social and spiritual support at its in-patient ward, day care unit, outpatient clinic and bereavement support service.

“It’s been good to sit down and listen to people’s concerns, help them where I can and just be there for a cup of tea and a chat,” Mrs Hughes said.

“Discussing these matters is a sensitive subject, which is why the personal touch is so important, and making sure patients and their families are prepared.”

People aged 55 and over are three times more likely to have a will than those aged 18-34, however even then more than a third do not have one.

A common misconception is that people feel they are simply not ‘rich enough’ to need a will, however most people have important belongings and wishes for where they should go.

“The most important and rewarding part of being a solicitor is trying to help people, especially at what can be a difficult time,” Mrs Hughes added, “so to make that as simple and painless as possible in advance is vital.”

Day therapy manager Debbie Gilman, who oversees nurses, therapists and counsellors, said Mrs Hughes’s work has already proved “invaluable”.

“The conversations are not intrusive; she is here to listen and be on hand to help with what can be a big issue,” Mrs Gilman said.

“Shian feels like part of the team, we appreciate her guidance and feel it will be of great benefit to the community moving forward.”