Lawyers are increasingly seeing a switch to demand for advice on later life planning, with two out of three firms reporting a rise in inquiries, research shows.
The survey of 103 solicitors from equity release referral service Key Partnerships found 67% of law firms have seen an increase in demand from retired clients for support with later life planning.
Advice on releasing property equity and planning for long-term care are 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.
The survey also reveals concerns among lawyers that clients are failing to plan for the risk of mental and physical decline impairing their ability to make decisions in later life – 72% said they are worried about the issue.
This 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.
Key believes the demand for LPAs and wider support on later life planning will continue to grow and highlights the need for lawyers to have partnerships with specialist financial advisers.
Currently, just over half (52%) of firms surveyed said they work with advisers while 68% said they would recommend equity release more often if they had a partnership with a specialist.
Jason Ruse, head of Key Partnerships, said the type of advice needed changes as people get older, meaning law firms and other advice firms need to adapt and offer a wider range of services.
“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,” he added.
The survey suggests demand for advice on legal and financial issues relating to later life planning will expand over the next three years.
The major growth areas for later life planning include support on funding long-term care, identified by 59%, and protection from inheritance tax, highlighted by 43%.