When managing wealth, individuals and families usually have two main objectives - to have sufficient funds to support their lifestyle, and to ensure their estate is distributed fairly according to their wishes after they die.
The current pandemic has thrown into light the need to review your wealth structures to navigate a changing world. This is all against the backdrop of the government reviewing the tax system to ensure it is relevant and fair.
While there is a valid and interesting economic debate to be had around whether tax increases as opposed to tax competitiveness are the way forward, we encourage you to take action now in line with your own family values and objectives, rather than short term tax implications. This is the most important place to start ahead of documenting your wishes in a Will.
What do I need to consider when drafting a Will?
A Will is perhaps the most important document a person ever signs. If you die without making a Will, then it is left to the law to determine who inherits your property and who is responsible for administering your estate and distributing your property. This may lead to unwanted and/or uncertain succession and tax consequences. The process of preparing a Will ensures that loved ones are provided for in the manner you want, and offers great peace of mind. It also gives the opportunity to consider the likely tax exposure on your death, avoiding any unnecessary payments.
How can I ensure my Will is utilising the most efficient structure for my personal and family values?
We will work with you to help you grow, preserve and distribute your wealth amongst the generations during your lifetime and after death. The ways in which you can manage this vary depending on your personal circumstances and the tax requirements at any given time. These could involve lifetime giving or holding assets through trusts and other asset protection structures.
These structures will also depend on your residency and domicile status, whether your assets are currently held in trusts, or whether you are a landowner or business owner, with assets in either the UK or abroad. We are able to assess your personal circumstances in the round, and find pragmatic and commercial solutions to complex situations. Please click on the links above to find out more about how we advise you in these specific circumstances.
For more information about our advice on family governance and gifting now, please visit our COVID-19 hub, focusing on what action the Private Wealth community can be taking now to minimise the long term impacts for yourself and the economy.
Probate and estate administration: What will happen following my death?
It is important that these matters are administered sensitively and efficiently. We can assist with anything and everything that is required following a death including:
- obtaining grants of representation (typically, a grant of probate) both overseas (in conjunction with local lawyers) and here in the UK;
- advising on complex succession issues;
- advising executors (together or individually) on their responsibilities;
- providing a full tax compliance service in estate administration and to ensure the most tax effective devolution of the estate; and
- advising on beneficiary’s / beneficiaries’ rights.
We are frequently asked to co-ordinate the winding up of international estates, often with assets of substantial value held in a variety of jurisdictions. For more information about this, please click here.
For more information about trust establishment and administration, please click here.