As solicitors, we are not authorised to give financial advice. Although a lot of the legal advice that we give has a financial benefit, for example helping you to save tax or care fees, or showing you the best way to pass wealth down through the generations of your family, this is not the same as advising you as to which financial products are best for your circumstances.
We do however, need to point out to you all the various ways there are of achieving your aims. For example, if you wish to plan your affairs so that when you die your estate pays as little inheritance tax as possible, we can advise you about the ways in which Wills and Trusts can be used but we also need to let you know that there are financial products which can help too. We just cannot tell you which financial products are the best.
We therefore work closely with financial advisors. We will sometimes refer our clients to them and vice versa.
As with solicitors, it is important that you use someone who is fully qualified and experienced in the particular area of law or financial advice that you are interested in. There are “badges” of quality to look out for.
For solicitors, membership of organisations such as STEP or Solicitors For the Elderly shows that a particular solicitor has reached an advanced level of knowledge and experience in a certain area of law, or Lexcel accreditation shows that the firm’s practice management is of a high quality. Just being a solicitor shows a higher level of qualification and accountability than being a will writer for example.
The same applies to financial advisors. For example, a Chartered Financial Planner will have a higher level of qualification and experience than a straightforward Financial Advisor. Some financial advisors can only recommend products from the company for whom they work, while others are labelled as “independent” and can look at the whole market and pick the best products for your circumstances.
At Onions & Davies, we have many years’ experience of working with financial advisors and we have built up a trusted network of people to whom we would be happy to refer our clients. Our professional conduct rules dictate that we can only refer clients to independent financial advisors and from those, we will make a selection based upon factors such as level of qualification, experience in certain areas of financial advice, how well we feel they will get on with a particular client, geography, and so on.
We will of course work with a financial advisor that you already use and that you are comfortable with but if you would like us to recommend someone, we would be happy to do so.
This information refers to the law of England & Wales only, which from time to time changes. In particular, tax information changes annually. It is not a substitute for professional advice, which is up to date and specific to your needs. This information is a summary of the provisions relating to financial advice and cannot cover every aspect of their operation. It represents our understanding of current legislation in England and Wales but should not be relied upon as an authoritative statement of law nor as constituting advice. We would advise that legal advice be sought in every circumstance.