We work with families across generations to make sure their assets are managed, distributed and transferred in a way that supports the goals of everyone involved. We also provide insight and advice around any tax implications that come with assets being shared within your family.
Business Relief (Also referred to as Business Property Relief – BPR) is an area of inheritance tax legislation that has been around for over 40 years. The principle behind it is to reduce the inheritance tax payable of gifts during the lifetime or left via a will that are business property. This has the benefit of enabling family businesses to continue after death and removes the obstruction of hefty inheritance tax bills which could potentially end the business.
There are different assets that, once owned for two years, qualify for either 100% or 50% inheritance tax relief. This depends on the type of assets held. Business Relief may be grated on property and buildings, unlisted shares and machinery.
There are various well established investment plans that offer Business Relief by holding unlisted shares. Following two years of ownership these may qualify for Business Relief and therefore reduce the amount of inheritance tax due on the estate.
It is also important to ensure that, where business assets are owned, they relate to a trading company and are held efficiently between couples and that Wills make suitable provision for them.
While it is ideal in many cases to reduce the amount of inheritance tax due, either by spending ones money, gifting, or taking other measures such as using Business Relief, in some cases it is not possible to reduce this entirely. In these cases it can be prudent to provide a lump sum of money for your beneficiaries in order that they can pay the Inheritance Tax which is due. This can provide essential funds that can help to prevent the breakup of an estate, sale of property at reduced rates and allow a swift settlement of probate. There are several different ways to provide this, but bar far the most common is through a whole of life policy, placed in trust. It is essential that this is done correctly and consideration is given to any gifts in the previous seven or fourteen years.
There are many different kinds of trusts including Pension Trusts, Statutory Trusts, Discretionary and Absolute (Bare) Trusts. Each have there own place in a financial plan and can be useful for different reasons. Very often Life Insurance is placed in to trust to ensure that the benefits of this are placed outside the estate. They can also be useful when planning a will as assets can be passed via a will in to trusts to avoid moving directly in to a beneficiaries estate. Trust planning needs careful planning as the timeline in which the trusts are established can have significant effects on the efficacy and tax treatment of them. However, especially in Life Insurance, Inheritance Tax and Bloodline planning they can be used as useful tools.
It is often the case that clients wish to pass on their assets, be they property, investments, heirlooms or businesses to their children and in turn their children. There can be many obstacles in the way of achieving this, including Inheritance Tax, potential creditors, the effects of divorce or mismanagement. Using tools such as trusts, well worded wills and with the correct arrangement of ones affairs and assets it is possible to ensure some certainties with ones estate and also to provide flexibility to beneficiaries where required. Each and every case is different and requires careful planning, together with other relevant professionals such as Solicitors and Accountants. Bloodline planning does not necessarily start at old age and in fact can form part of family plan at a young age.