Data released by 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 were identified as the biggest areas of growth in the research, with 38% of firms reporting increased inquiries about equity release and 37% seeing a rise in inquiries about long-term care.
However, the switch in demand is leading to concern 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 – nearly three out of four (72%) say they are worried about the issue.
That is reflected in growth in demand for advice on lasting power of attorney, 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, highlighting 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% say they would recommend equity release more often if they had a partnership with a specialist.
Jason Ruse, head of Key Partnerships, said: “The need for advice does not end when people retire and with more than 11.8 million over-65s in the UK including 1.6 million over-85s there is clearly a growing need for support.
“The type of advice needed however changes and clearly law firms as much as other advice firms need to adapt and offer a wider range of services suitable for older clients.
“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.”