1 in 5 lawyers worried financial advice goes beyond core expertise with Inheritance Tax and Trusts top of the list

Around half of lawyers are called on to provide advice on trusts and inheritance tax but one in five say they are worried their advice goes beyond their core expertise.

The research, conducted by Pollright, also showed that 78% of firms are now turning to independent financial advisers.

More than two thirds (68%) 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%) and a growing client base (50%) were second and third respectively.

More than half (54%) of lawyers cited inheritance tax (IHT) planning as an area where clients were looking for advice. Advice on trusts (49%); preparations for and impact of divorce (46%); and income and capital gains tax mitigation (38%) were second, third and fourth respectively in terms of most popular financial advice enquiries for lawyers. Three in ten (29%) lawyers received enquiries on accessing property wealth and equity release from clients.

Andrea Rozario, Chief Corporate Officer at Bower Private Clients said: “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.”

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