Planning for the disposal of your estate will ensure your wishes are carried out exactly as you intended, and with careful planning creating a large tax bill for your loved ones can be avoided. While most people are aware of the importance of having a will many people don’t quite get round to writing one or do not have one that accurately reflects their current financial position. Not only is writing or updating your will extremely important but you must ensure you look at the tax implications of any wealth transfer.
One side effect of the recession is that values are low and good tax strategies always take advantage of falling asset values. A recession is a good time to investigate estate planning options such as transferring the family business, extracting an asset from a company, crystallising capital losses now and offsetting the capital loss, all of which pre-empt the steps that have to be taken when an estate is disposed of.
Gift tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax liabilities can all be triggered by clumsy transfers – and these areas are being revisited in each budget, tightening the allowances and exemptions available.
We have worked with many of our clients designing bespoke methods of passing on their wealth. Each situation is unique to the individuals involved and whether it involves private wealth, or company assets, we can advise on:
- The use of trusts (including use of discretionary trust clauses)
- Tax structuring wills and tax reviews of existing wills
- Structuring family business transfers
- Structured handover or extraction of business assets
- Provisions for family members’ retirement
- Succession plans for other assets
- Tax compliance including filing gift or inheritance tax returns