A “boutique life management service” is aiming to reduce the stress of divorce and bereavement by providing a holistic service including legal and financial advice, alongside coaching, advice on schools for children and help with relocation.
Kate Kirkman, one of the four founding partners of My Life Collective (MLC), said it was aimed at high-net-worth individuals, who would access the service through a purpose-built app.
Ms Kirkman said the concept came from her experience of divorce, which she found a “hugely overwhelming life change”, involving moving house and her children’s schools.
“Looking back, I think I would have done it quite differently if I had understood the legal system better.”
Ms Kirkman said the “sad reality” was that people who could afford to have their lives managed by third parties needed to have a certain amount of disposal income.
“We would love it to be more available mainstream, and I have spoken to a lot of clients who cannot afford our services to try and provide some general advice.”
Ms Kirkman, a professional photographer, said MLC had been working with around 20 clients on a test basis since early in 2020, and dealt with enquiries from dozens of others who could not afford the service.
“Our aim is not to have hundreds of clients, but to have a few who we can work with very closely. We can save them time and money.”
MLC aims to cater not only for divorce clients but for those who have suffered a bereavement, by acting “as a conduit” to help them access advice on legal and financial matters, matters relating to children and living arrangements, and health and wellbeing.
Ms Kirkman said face-to-face advice was a crucial part of the service and the consumer launch of MLC would depend on relaxation of the Covid rules.
Although “a lot could be achieved” through video platforms like Zoom, she believed first meetings with clients should always be face-to-face.
She said the app aimed to make the process “as stressless as possible”, by enabling clients to see who they were engaging with, timescales, what had been achieved and potential fees.
MLC has selected 15 law firms to work with. Clients pay an initial retainer to MLC, before moving on to pay the law firm, which would agree to keep MLC fully informed. The same approach would be taken with financial advisers.
Ms Kirkman said MLC had been helped in its development by Andrew Morris, a family lawyer and partner at Harrison Clark Rickerbys in Cheltenham.
Mr Morris commented: “The industry has been crying out for an offering such as the one provided by My Life Collective.
“Having worked with the partners from inception, I have no doubt their dedication to their clients will make this an essential service for many people in need of assistance for years to come.”