We often find it difficult to think about passing on wealth because it involves confronting our own mortality.
If we don’t handle things in the right way, it can also lead to disagreements in the family when different emotions, values and expectations collide. That’s why inheritance is often one of the most challenging areas of financial planning.
Anthony is one of my wealthiest clients. He’s worked hard throughout his life to build a successful business, which he stepped back from a few years ago.
With more time on his hands, Anthony had started to think about inheritance tax (IHT), and wanted to talk to me about his options.
I know it’s important to be sensitive to any family issues that might arise during this type of planning exercise.
From my experience, decisions are usually best taken together as a family. It’s unlikely you’ll all see things the same way, and I think it’s a good idea to get everyone involved at the start to avoid disagreements later. Anthony’s two sons, Stephen and Daniel, joined our meeting, and one of our financial planners, Simon Davis, came along too.
We talked about all sorts of issues, including some the family hadn’t thought about before – from what might happen if Anthony has to give power of attorney to his sons as well as the possibility of paying for long-term residential care.
Anthony also mentioned that he was juggling concerns about spending too much of his sons’ inheritance, while also wanting to continue to enjoy some of the finer things throughout later life.
By discovering this early on, we were able to focus on organising Anthony’s assets in the most tax-efficient way, and allow him to enjoy those extra little luxuries guilt-free.
Through our conversations, I got to know Stephan and Daniel, discovering that we all share a love of golf. Since meeting, we have played a few rounds together.
This level of personal engagement has allowed us to keep in touch regarding their family, reassuring them that what myself and Simon have put in place is the right thing for them now and in the future.
Please note the client names in this story have been changed
"My favourite part of my role is building long standing relationships with clients. Charles Stanley has a philosophy of putting the client first in all decision making and I’m proud of the first class service we provide each and every one of our clients."
Will joined Charles Stanley in 2006. He is a regular business guest on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Outside work, Will is a Governor at Haileybury College and chairs their investment committee. He is also trustee for the Amber Trust, a charity that provides musical therapy to blind children
Get a better understanding of your current situation and the options available to you, take advantage of a free one hour consultation with an expert local to you.
0207 739 8200 (Open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)