Below are some examples of the opportunities and challenges we respond to on behalf of wealth owners, their families and their other advisers.
Our Muslim client wanted to establish a Shari’a compliant governance and succession structure for his family’s trading group.
We worked closely with Shari’a scholars and the family to create a structure that reflected the family’s wishes and complied with Shari’a law – both in terms of succession and investment.
We helped our Muslim family client set up a charitable foundation in conjunction with their family business governance structure. This enabled each family member to comply with Shari’a rules.
We worked with the family to put in place arrangements that work within Shari’a, rather than around it.
Rather than seeking to subvert Shari’a or local rules, we’ve developed robust and effective solutions for clients, to meet their objectives within Shari’a.Reshmi Manekporia, Associate Director BLP – Private Client
Fiduciary structures are extremely flexible and have a long history in Shari’a law.Murray North, Partner BLP – Private Client
Our clients, a relatively young couple with young children, had a mix of assets in several jurisdictions but no Wills.
We considered putting in place separate Wills for each jurisdiction but that would have added significant cost and complexity, with little likely benefit. Instead we prepared a worldwide Will that covers the relevant jurisdictions and set a date to consider multiple Wills in five years’ time.
Our UK client planned to sell her business and invest the proceeds in a range of private equity investments. We advised her to put part of her shareholding in a UK trust prior to sale.
This should protect that portion of her wealth from future claims, and on the event of her death, provide a pool of liquid assets her family can use while her estate is in probate. It may also provide a long term trust for future grandchildren.
Our client had completed his Will but his substantial estate was largely made up of property assets held in a number of different structures, which had developed over many years.
We did two things to make it easier for his executors to manage the estate. We helped simplify and consolidate the asset-holding structures – over several years – and put a memorandum in place that explained his ongoing wishes for these investments, both to his co-investors and his family.
In the period immediately after your death your family will need access to liquid funds. Putting some money in their names is a simple way of achieving this.”Simon Phelps, Partner BLP – Private Client
Personal items often have a sentimental value far in excess of their actual value. Specifying clearly in your Will who should get what can save a lot of heartache and cost.Karen Sheehan, Trust & Estates Consultant BLP - Private Client
Executors often spend a lot of time tracing assets, and gifts made prior to death. Keeping an up to date list of assets, lifetime gifts – and passwords – can make your executors’ lives much easier.Karen Sheehan, Trust & Estates Consultant BLP - Private Client
If you have assets in different countries you need to make sure they will all be inherited by the people you choose. This may best be dealt with by a single Will covering worldwide assets, but in other cases, the higher costs of separate Wills for separate countries may be outweighed by the reduced costs of simpler estate administration.Marilyn McKeever, Associate Director BLP – Private Client
Your choice of executors is very important. You can just appoint family members but sometimes including a trusted professional adviser can reduce the risk of conflicts, and help ensure your wishes are followed.Sam Carver, Associate Director BLP – Private Client
Our client was worried about how her children will behave when they receive their inheritance. We helped her create a governance structure that will manage the family wealth, deal with succession, and give the children increasing control.
The structure allows for separation of control, and ownership. The children were able to have an increasing say in investment decisions, and receive more assets, subject to a number of checks and balances. The children will take full control of the trust when they have proved they are capable.
Our client wanted to make sure that his children benefitted from his wealth but didn’t become reliant on it, and still fulfilled their potential.
We discussed his wishes with the family and drew up a family constitution that set out how, when and to what extent family members should benefit. The involvement of the family in the process means that they are more likely to keep to the stated wishes in the long term, and less likely to fall out.
Your children only have to Google you to find out what you’re worth. Educating them about the responsibility that comes with substantial wealth is a must.Rupert Ticehurst, Partner BLP – Private Client
You need to instil your values in the next generation during your lifetime if you want those values to be preserved following your death.Martin Paisner, Partner BLP – Private Client
Relinquishing control over your wealth should be done over time, not over your grave.Damian Bloom, Partner BLP – Private Client
We helped our UK-domiciled client plan how assets, that included a trading company and a property portfolio, should be distributed after her death. First we drafted a Will that would pass her business to her children and give her husband a trust interest in the rest of her estate; all tax free.
Then we did two things to make sure the trust assets would be used to meet her aims. We gave the trustees power to redirect assets – to save tax or take account of a change in her family’s circumstances – and we prepared a letter of wishes that set out how she wanted her family to benefit.
Once a non-UK domiciled person has lived in the UK for sufficient years their worldwide assets will be subject to UK inheritance tax.
We helped our client put assets in trust – before he passed the threshold – to protect them from UK inheritance tax, even if he remained in the UK. He also gifted some UK assets to his adult children and put life insurance in place to cover any inheritance tax on those gifts.
Well advised non-UK domiciled individuals can mitigate their exposure to inheritance tax with simple planning, provided it is done in time.Simon Phelps, Partner BLP – Private Client
One of the key aims for inheritance tax planning for married couples is to defer any liability at least until the death of the survivor. Where multiple jurisdictions are involved, it is also one of the key challenges.Marilyn McKeever, Associate Director BLP – Private Client
It’s clear that the UK Government wants to charge inheritance tax on all UK residential property. Some mitigation is still possible but needs to be tailored to individual circumstances.Reshmi Manekporia, Associate Director BLP – Private Client
Our client wanted to make large donations to several charities and had a number of shareholdings that had increased significantly in value. We advised her to gift these shares: she could claim capital gains and income tax relief and the charities could sell the shares tax-free.
Gifting assets that had gone up in value – and would create a significant tax bill if sold – was a win-win for the client and the charity.
Our client wanted to set aside a portion of his wealth, on behalf of his family, for charitable purposes. We set up a charitable foundation and put governance procedures in place to make sure his objectives – for the charity and the funds – were clear.
The world’s wealthiest families are encouraging each other to use large proportions of their wealth to help others. We help make sure donations are well structured, tax effective, focussed and effective.Martin Paisner, Partner BLP – Private Client
Increasingly, donors are applying more sophisticated methods including through social investment and the use of other investment management principles, to ensure that money granted to charities is used as effectively as possible.Neasa Coen, Associate Director BLP – Private Client
If you’re leaving large sums to charity in your Will make sure your executors really understand, and can explain, your aims.Jonathan Kropman, Head of Private Client – BLP
“If you want a say in what happens to your wealth after your death you need to plan for it in your lifetime”Simon Phelps, Partner BLP – Private Client