Solicitors

Legal Services Act
The advent of competition arising from the Legal Services Act has underlined the need for solicitors to provide a more holistic client service, embracing both legal and financial needs.

Compliance
Demonstrating that client referrals for financial advice are in the clients’ best interest is now a compliance requirement for solicitors. The Law Society has urged that solicitors only recommend Independent Financial Advisers, warning of the danger of referring clients to advisers whose advice is conflicted by self-interest and their allegiance to individual providers of financial products (Law Society, November 2012).

SIFA Directory
SIFA operates the Law Society endorsed Directory of Professional Financial Advisers. The SIFA Directory lists only firms which provide conflict-free advice. Because we are a member of SIFA there is no better way of providing due diligence than by selecting Ergowealth as an adviser from the Law Society endorsed SIFA Directory. The Directory can be found at www.sifalegal.co.uk or at the Members Benefits section of the Law Society web site www.lawsociety.org.uk

Opportunities for client referrals to Ergowealth
Opportunities exist in the areas of estate planning, probate, trustees, equity release, divorce, personal injury, capital investment and advice to business owners. 

 
Ten clients in need of financial advice
THE ESTATE PLANNER
It is said that some people neglect estate planning because they distrust their heirs more than they dislike the tax authorities. Most, however, are keen to ensure that their estates will not be subject to tax which could legitimately be avoided or reduced.
THE WIDOW
Many widows are inexperienced in personal finance, having left such matters in the hands of their late husbands. They therefore need an adviser who can help them to plan for their future, whether this might involve accommodation, ensuring a regular income, the possible need for Long Term Care, or making provision for dependants.
THE TRUSTEE
The Trustee Act 2000 introduced important new duties for trustees. They must ensure that the trust investments are properly diversified and are suitable to the objectives of the trust.
THE HOMEOWNER RELEASING EQUITY
When the ‘equity’ value in a home is released on the householder trading down to a smaller property, the cash which is released might be applied to providing additional income, or establishing a trust fund, or funding some major item of expenditure. But the same options can be available even without the property being sold, if the householder uses an ‘Equity Release’ scheme.
THE BROKEN RELATIONSHIP
Whether a contentious or collaborative approach is adopted, a divorce or separation is likely to require a complete review of both parties’ finances, and the legal and financial aspects will need to be co-ordinated.
THE PERSONAL INJURY LITIGANT
Financial advisers can assist solicitors for personal injury claimants in a number of ways. Assisting with applications for state financial support, quantifying the loss of pension rights, assisting in negotiating the award and providing cash flow forecasts and helping structure any settlement in a way which best satisfies the claimants long term needs. And finally in arranging a bespoke investment portfolio tailored to the individual’s needs.
THE INVESTOR
Clients may occasionally find themselves in receipt of significant sums of money – for example, on the death of relatives, on the sale of a business property, or as the result of divorce or litigation. In all cases it is vital to appoint an investment adviser who is totally impartial and fee-based and who can provide a structured plan which reconciles risk and reward in a way which is appropriate to the individual situation and will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.
THE BUSINESS OWNER
People are one of the most important assets of any business, and key human resources should be insured in just the same way as other business assets. Consequently, keyman and shareholder insurances should always be considered when setting up a company. In addition, many employers provide private health insurance schemes, which benefit both employer and employee should medical problems arise.
THE REDUNDANT EXECUTIVE
The first consideration in the event of redundancy is the tax treatment of termination benefits and the availability of State benefits. This might prompt a review of existing investments and consideration as to the application of new funds, with particular regard to the possibility of having to supplement short-term income. Then, consideration will need to be given to whether replacement life insurance should be arranged for the protection of dependents, and existing policies should be reviewed to check whether benefits might be claimed.
THE EXPATRIATE
Clients consulting their solicitors on property and tax matters prior to taking up residence abroad will be concerned also to ensure that their investments and pensions are geared to their new situation.