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Solicitors face demand for financial advice

Endless policy changes from the treasury have entwined legal and financial concerns like never before

14 March 2016

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Solicitors are being pushed beyond their advisory remit by clients who have been bombarded by tax and financial policy changes from the government.

The inheritance, taxation and financial management considerations created by the Pension Schemes Act 2015, along with changes to the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) has seen 20 per cent of solicitors give advice that goes 'beyond their core expertise'.

The statistic comes from Bower Private Clients, who have also discovered that just under 40 per cent of solicitors have experienced an increase in the demand for financial advice.

'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,' said Andrea Rozario, chief corporate officer at Bower Private Clients.

George Osborne has also made changes to inheritance tax, essentially introducing a new nil rate band that is exclusively applicable to the family home for eligible couples.

This creates another avenue of convergence between succession planning and wealth management - as a result of the complexity of the changes and the huge increases seen in the value of property, clients require legal advice alongside financial advice.

'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.'

 

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Legal services Tax & Wealth structuring