Thursday, 23 October 2014

Come to our seminar on protecting family wealth: 13 November 2014, London

We’re often asked about the current state of play with UK pre-nups and, as a wealth lawyer, I’m always interested to know how bullet-proof trusts are, should a beneficiary divorce, and whether there are any alternatives to trusts that might offer better protection. 

So I've teamed up with my colleague Teresa Cullen, our family partner, and we'll be exploring exactly these issues in our seminar here at Fladgate, 16 Great Queen Street, London WC2B, on 13 November 2014. 

Further details below.  If you'd like to join us, please RSVP to register your interest. 

Bare Trusts: are they the ‘next big thing’?

The third consultation on Inheritance Tax (IHT) charges for trusts assumes that every individual will have only one settlement nil rate band (SNRB) to put against the periodic charges to IHT of all trusts created in lifetime, or on death, by that individual.  (For more on the new SNRB, see my blog post of 19 June 2014.)

As the SNRB does not renew itself every seven years, the well advised will soon begin to realise that the SNRB is a precious commodity that needs to be preserved and carefully allocated.

The SNRB only needs to be allocated among ‘settlements’ though.  As it seems that Bare Trusts are not settlements for IHT purposes, if the SNRB does come into effect, there will be no need to allocate any SNRB to Bare Trusts.  So, are Bare Trusts about to become all the rage, if you have young children or grandchildren to plan for?  You can save your SNRB to allocate against your other trusts/will trusts instead! 

Now is the time, then, to reacquaint ourselves with what Bare Trusts have to offer. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Best will for… Part 3: most married couples

I like the simple things in life. When it comes to wills, most of my married couple (and civil partnership) clients want to keep things simple too. ‘Everything to my spouse and then to my children equally, please’ is a common refrain. There is nothing wrong with that.

The only problem with keeping things that simple, though, is that you can be wrong-footed if your family’s circumstances have changed by the time you die, or afterwards. The child’s marriage doesn’t work out. The child’s ex-partner wants a stake in your child’s home. Your spouse loses capacity to manage finances after your death. Lawyers have a tendency to look on the black side and chances are none of these things will happen. However, the fact is that a simple will, leaving everything to heirs outright, gives no protection against any of these things, so you are taking a risk.