Lawyers see surge in demand for later life financial planning advice

Michael Lloyd

April 11, 2018

Lawyers are seeing more demand for advice on later life planning with two out of three firms (67%) of firms seeing an increase in enquires from retired clients, equity release referral service, Key Partnerships found.

Advice on releasing property equity and planning for long-term care were identified as the biggest areas of growth with 38% of firms reporting increased inquiries about equity release and 37% seeing a rise in inquiries about long-term care.

Jason Ruse, head of Key Partnerships, said: “The need for advice does not end when people retire and with more than 11.8 million over-65s in the UK, including 1.6 million over-85s, there is clearly a growing need for support.

“The type of advice needed however changes and clearly law firms as much as other advice firms need to adapt and offer a wider range of services suitable for older clients.

“Mental and physical decline in retirement is a major factor to consider when planning for the future and should mean looking at all aspects of clients’ finances including their property wealth. Specialist equity release advisers can help ensure clients receive the support they need.”

However, the switch in demand is leading to nearly three quarters (72%) of lawyers being that clients are failing to plan for the risk of mental and physical decline impairing their ability to make decisions in later life.

That is reflected in growth in demand for advice on lasting power of attorney (LPAs) with 14% of firms saying they are asked for advice on LPAs very often while 38% are regularly asked for help.

Jon Tweed, sales director of lifetime mortgages at OneFamily, said:“What’s important is the joined up approach from advisers and solicitors within the later life market, pushing forward that agenda.

“It’s very important the legal aspect works hand in hand with the advisers and providers and it’s important advisers talk about LPAs with customers. “

Key believes the demand for LPAs and wider support on later life planning will continue to grow highlighting the need for lawyers to have partnerships with specialist financial advisers.

Currently just over half (52%) of firms said they work with advisers while 68% said they would recommend equity release more often if they had a partnership with a specialist.

The major growth areas for later life planning include support on funding long-term care identified by 59% of lawyers and protection from inheritance tax highlighted by 43%.

More than half (54%) of lawyers said clients are concerned about their retirement income tax bills while 44% expected growth in inquiries about using tax-free property wealth to boost retirement income.

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