Retirement lending adviser, Bower Private Clients, reports that nearly two out of five law firms have seen a rise in demand for personal financial advice from clients, leading to worries about regulatory concerns.
The research found that 38 per cent of law firms had experienced an increase in demand for advice about finance in the past 12 months with one in three forecasting a rise in work they refer to independent financial advisers.
Bower’s study found 78 per cent of firms routinely referred clients seeking financial advice to a financial adviser but revealed concerns among lawyers about current arrangements with 20 per cent worried that some of their advice goes beyond their core expertise. However no lawyers admitted to providing detailed advice themselves.
The research showed that more than two thirds (68 per cent) of lawyers cited an increase in property transactions by clients as the main reason for the growing demand for advice while a greater awareness of the need for inheritance planning (64 per cent) and a growing client base (50 per cent) were second and third respectively.
Bower Private Clients is anticipating a surge in demand for specialist advice and bespoke solutions for retired homeowners who need to maximise their property assets.
Andrea Rozario, (pictured) Chief Corporate Officer at Bower Private Clients says: “Pension rule changes are driving business for law firms but high property prices and the complex nature of estate planning are also major sources of demand.
“The wealth tied up in homes is a potential source of retirement funding but people need to be properly advised. “Given this high demand for advice in what is an increasingly complex market, it is very important for lawyers to have access to trusted partners.
“Advisers recognise that property wealth can offer a variety of solutions for their clients. Homeowners increasingly have more wealth tied up in their properties and want to be able to access that wealth as part of retirement planning.”
More than half (54 per cent) of lawyers cited inheritance tax (IHT) planning as an area where clients were looking for advice. Advise on trusts (49 per cent); preparations for and impact of divorce (46 per cent); and income and capital gains tax mitigation (38 per cent) were second, third and fourth respectively in terms of most popular financial advice enquiries for lawyers. Three in ten (29 per cent) lawyers received enquiries on accessing property wealth and equity release from clients.