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Working with Solicitors

10 Clients in need of financial advice

1. 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.

2. 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 their future, whether this might involve accomodation, ensuring a regular income, the possible need for Long Term care, or making provision for dependants.

3. The Trustee

The Trustee Act 2000 introduced important new duties for trustees. They must ensure that the trust investments are properly diversified (this being one of the main ways of reducing risk) and are suitable to the objectives of the trust.

4. 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 realised 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.

5. The Broken Relationship

Whether a contentious of 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.

6. The Personal Injury Litigant

Financial advisers can assist solicitors for personal injury claimants in a number of ways such as assistance in the negotiation of the award, quantifying any loss of pension rights and arranging a bespoke investment portfolio.

7. 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 or property, or as a result of divorce or litigation. In all cases it is vital to appoint an investment adviser who is totally impartial and who can provide a structured plan which reconciles risk and return in a way which is appropriate to the individual situation and will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.

8. 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.

9. 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 dependants, and existing policies should be reviewed to check whether benefits might be claimed.

10. 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.