Solicitors play a crucial role at many points in their clients’ lives – from practical planning to navigating major life-changing events.
Often, these situations throw up a financial advice need which, if dealt with compassionately and holistically, can help solicitors cement their long-term relationships with clients. Equally, financial planners often provide advice on situations that require expert legal assistance.
By working together, financial advisers and solicitors can offer a wider range of services and a more joined-up approach to managing clients’ legal and financial affairs.
Here are just four of the areas where financial advisers and solicitors can work together to benefit clients.
Divorce is a life-changing event that comes with many complex legal and financial challenges.
A solicitor is best placed to advise on a client’s legal rights and options. They can help clients work out which method of dispute resolution best suits their needs, and provide legal advice about splitting the couple’s family, home and finances.
A financial planner can delve deeper into the client’s financial affairs. They can comb through the client’s income and expenses, explain the differences between Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit pension schemes, and provide a holistic view of how the client’s new financial future might look.
Some of the specific areas in which financial planners can add value for a solicitor’s client include:
- Investing the lump sum proceeds of a divorce settlement
- Rebuilding wealth that has been lost in divorce
- Valuing and transferring pensions
- Protecting maintenance payments
- Providing advice on joint mortgages and life insurance.
At a difficult and stressful time, offering a joined-up legal and financial advice service can help clients feel more confident about their future.
2. Wills and estate planning
The wills and estate planning process often throws up legal and financial advice needs.
A solicitor can handle the legal side of things, such as ensuring executors fulfil their duties, dealing with probate, and resolving disputes. They can also provide specialist advice on writing wills and setting up trusts or Lasting Powers of Attorney.
If a client has inherited money, a financial adviser can help them put the money to good use. Depending on the client’s circumstances and financial goals, this could include building an emergency cash savings fund and/or investing it in an ISA or pension.
For clients who have a potential Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability, a financial adviser can offer advice on how to reduce IHT, including gifting, paying money into a pension or, if relevant, claiming Business Relief.
By working together, solicitors and financial advisers can help clients pass on assets effectively, so they can rest assured their loved ones will be cared for long after they’ve gone.
3. Later-life care
The cost of later-life care is a major worry for many clients. It raises questions about planning for care home fees and releasing equity from the client’s property.
A solicitor can help clients protect their assets by advising on a range of lifetime and will trusts.
A financial planner can help by giving clients an accurate picture of their financial position and identifying whether they might face a shortfall in later life. They will ensure the client’s investments are in line with their needs and attitude for risk, and explain the different care fees funding options.
If there is a shortfall, a financial planner will look for potential solutions. These could include care fees planning for immediate and future care costs, an immediate care plan, and equity release.
By providing a joined-up approach, financial advisers and solicitors can help clients navigate the complex and often daunting topic of later-life care.
4. Tax planning
When it comes to tax planning, there is often a lot of overlap between the work of a solicitor and that of a financial planner.
A solicitor can provide legal advice on reducing a tax liability and ensure paperwork is filled in correctly. A financial planner will look at mitigating tax in the context of the client’s wider financial affairs.
For example, a financial planner will check the client is using all their available tax reliefs and allowances and can recommend specific tax-efficient investments. They’ll ensure the client is investing in a way that suits their individual circumstances, risk profile and future goals.
Get in touch
By partnering with Ardent Financial Planning, you can rest assured that your client’s financial affairs are taken care of. We’re passionate about helping clients live the life they want to live, without having to worry about running out of money.
Our Chartered Financial Planning status is an indication of our commitment to delivering the highest standards and ethical behaviour. We’ve adopted the Pension Transfer Gold Standard, which means our advice aligns with the nine principles set out by the Personal Finance Society.
Our divorce specialist Gary O’Brien has been specially trained, tested and accredited by Resolution to work with divorcing couples. We’re also members of Symponia, a national body dedicated to promoting the highest standards in care fees planning.
For more information on how we can work with you to benefit clients, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01904 655330.