Wills and Succession Planning

Expertise

We view wills as an essential and core part of all succession planning.

We provide pragmatic and sensible advice on distribution of wealth having regard not just to tax but more importantly to future enjoyment of the family’s assets and wealth.  We do this for UK and international clients.

For international clients, we will prepare UK wills where appropriate and obtain and co-ordinate advice from other jurisdictions as necessary, mindful always of the all important domicile of the client, the location of assets and private international law.

Trusts also have an important role, and we advise on all aspects of their uses, suitability, creation, taxation, application of trust funds and ultimate distribution.

 

Experience

Our experience in this area includes:

  • Advising on succession and preparing wills for a husband and wife, he domiciled in one jurisdiction she in a second, and both resident in a third and owning assets in two further jurisdictions, advising on issues of international succession law and inheritance taxes in the various jurisdictions
  • Advising entrepreneurs on tax efficient wills and other structures to maximise the availability of inheritance tax business property reliefs on death
  • Advising the family on the splitting of a £100m family investment company between two branches; and one of the new companies on subsequent amendments to its constitution particularly having regard to pre-emption rights to preserve continued family ownership
  • Advising on School Sites Act cases to successfully obtain valuable properties for the heirs of the original donor of the properties in the 19th century for use as a school. This involved identifying each instance as one to which the legislation applies and proving the case to the other claimant of the property
  • Advising a married couple domiciled in an Islamic country on wills and succession planning in relation to their assets in England, USA, France and the Islamic country
  • Advising an ultra high net worth client on his will and tax and estate planning.  The client wanted a substantial portion of his wealth to be used to create a private charitable foundation on his death and the work involved creating that foundation
  • Advising entrepreneurs on tax efficient wills and other structures to maximise the availability of inheritance tax business property relief on death
  • Advising the owners of a business on the transfer of shareholder protection insurance to trust for surviving shareholders and ensuring adequate provisions included within the shareholder’s agreement to secure inheritance tax business property relief
  • Advising couples on appropriate structures for wills and estate planning on second marriages and where there are children from a previous relationship
  • Advising individuals who are either about to marry or are in the process of divorcing on the most appropriate structure for wills so as to protect beneficiaries and avoid claims against their estates
  • Advising a UK resident Italian domiciliary married to a UK resident and domiciled spouse on succession to valuable assets in Italy and the UK.  After taking Italian advice we prepared two wills both governed by UK law each creating trusts one for the Italian assets and the other for the UK assets
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