Episode 024 - Life planning, estate planning & drafting your will
This subject has been coming up a lot more in conversations recently, maybe due to the heightened awareness around the situation of COVID-19, and that is the subject of estate planning and wills.
Now is a difficult time and the default is often to act as if no matter what happens everything will be ok and exactly how we planned, but to help start the conversation on the realities of our current situation and what can you do pro-actively in order to better prepare for the worst-case scenarios. We have a special guest in who will help Dr Ro & Harms with what can often be described as a difficult conversation. Which is the subject of, estate planning, preparing for death, dealing with life events and more.
On that note let’s introduce our special guest
Anton Lane is a chartered tax adviser with over two decades handling contentious tax disclosure, cases of suspected serious fraud and advising high net worth families and property professionals. Whilst Anton is predominantly a professional adviser he has extensive first-hand experience in UK property investment, development as well as investing overseas. Anton has also sat on the board of many listed international property funds. He has also sat on the board of a UK listed company and provides non-executive director support to a handful of promising businesses.
Anton’s career began at Ernst and Young where he qualified and specialised in defending clients under a tax investigation. He has held senior positions with offshore fiduciary service providers and has built up considerable expertise on offshore structures, non-domiciles and international taxes. Anton began lecturing on property tax planning, asset protection and estate planning in 2004. He continues to present to property investors as well as a lecture to the profession. Anton regularly contributes to Taxation, Tax Journal, the annotated finance act and is the author of four tax digests and CCH’s Practical Enquiry Manual.
Anton now heads up his own practice of specialist advisers helping practitioners and clients with tax consultancy and investigations.
On this episode Anton answers the following questions in detail:
- What is estate planning?
- Some may be confused between term estate planning and a WILL are they the same?
- It’s a difficult subject to discuss how can younger people tackle this with their parents?
- Why is estate planning important?
- When is estate planning important?
- How should someone of my generation and age group approach this subject? Estate planning, wealth structures, dealing with life events – it’s not something we often talk about or even have in our awareness.
- What can a typical property investor do?
- What can a typical business owner do?
- How quickly can a will be set up
We hope you will find great value in the wisdom from this episode, whether it is relevant now or into the future,
Where can you find Anton Lane?
The best place to capture his details and get in contact with him is through his company Edge-Tax.
As promised here are links to the special resources Anton has made available to
The Seekardo Show listeners:
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For a full read of the podcast, here is a full transcript of everything Dr Ro and Harms covered in this episode of the Seekardo Podcast.
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Harms: Hello it is Hams here and welcome to another episode of the Seekardo podcast.
We’ve got an interesting one today, this subject has been coming up a lot more in general conversation recently. It is possibly due to the heightened awareness around the situation of coronavirus.
That subject in particular that has been spoken about is estate planning and wills.
Now the reality is, it’s a difficult time and the default is often to act as if no matter what happens, everything will be okay and exactly how we planned and expected, but that is not always the case.
That is the fact and the reality but to help us at least start the conversation on the realities out there, around our current situation and what you can do proactively in order to better prepare for the worst-case scenarios we have a very special guest on today’s episode.
Who will help Ro and I with what can often be described as actually a very difficult conversation.
Which is the subject of estate planning, preparing for death dealing with life events and much, much more.
So thank you in advance to Anton Lane, our special guest who is helping us and our listeners understand this topic better.
Hi Ro and over to you.
Dr Ro: Thanks Harms, hi everybody thanks for listening again on the podcast we are getting some great feedback and this is a subject that I know Harminder and I feel very strongly about, and I’m super excited Anton may not be aware of this, but we’ve basically been doing all of the podcast between myself and Harminder over the last months.
Except just recently we launched with Doctor Robert Verkerk and Mel who came on to talk about immunology and just what’s happening in our bodies through covid-19.
We were choosing very carefully who we brought on and bringing somebody in as a guest onto the podcast is really important for us and I’ve known Anton for 10 to 15 years and I can’t think of a better person right now to tackle this subject.
He is hugely respected in the United Kingdom.
He has international clients for those of you that are listening to us from overseas, and I know we do have overseas listeners and has got a phenomenal background.
Anton first of all let me say hi to you and thank you for joining us.
Anton: Hi Rohan thanks for asking me.
Dr Ro: It is not a subject necessarily that is one that’s hugely dynamic and I know it is difficult for you because you tackle the subject in a very smart way, but also an elegant way and I say that genuinely.
I’ve known icon Anton for so many years and this is a subject that is so sensitive to families that you need someone that has that level of sensitivity, but also the aptitude and the awareness of how to manage that in a family dynamic.
But also on a professional level for those of you listening to this and you’re business owners.
The mistakes I’ve seen people make, and I actually fell into this trap and Anton was kind enough to sit with myself and my mother many, many years ago because often if you start a business you are enthusiastic and passionate.
For me it was both business and property investing and you crack on without any thought of future planning as all you want to do is get the business going.
He has this amazing ability to stay calm in a storm when people are feeling quite stressed or unsure about things and guide us.
I’m really blessed that you’re with us and I’m excited about this conversation. Let me just introduce you know so that we can give people a chance to understand a bit about your background.
I’ll do a bit of a brief intro and then maybe we could open up for you to give us a bit of a journey through how you got to where you got to.
Anton is a chartered tax adviser for those of you listening who got something like two decades of experience handling contentious tax disclosure, which is not an easy subject. Cases of suspected serious fraud and for those of you listening that may have large businesses have high net worth, he’s worked with a lot of high net worth families and professional property investors.
Whilst Anton is predominately a professional adviser he has extensive first-hand experience in the UK property investments, development, and international overseas investments as well.
He sat on the board of many listed international property funds which is not easy to get into, you’ve got to be highly respected to be placed on the board. He’s also sat on the board of a UK listed company and provides non-executive directors support to a handful of promising businesses, i.e., people starting up or are expanding rapidly.
I think that’s an area that a lot of people tend not to do the planning out, they tend to put it in retrospectively.
Anton enough from us.
Thank you so much for coming in.
Can you talk through your journey so people understand the depth in your history and he has got a few more grey hairs than when I first met him as well.
Anton: I may have more grey hairs but at least I’ve still got hair.
My journey started by accident I wanted to do economics at university and I started in London but then transferred to Southampton and ended up doing taxation and revenue law, just because I wanted to go to a University near my friends.
I never intended to do revenue law and I was going to change, but the course was sponsored by Ernst & Young, and I ended up winning some awards at university. Best student, best dissertation, and highest degree.
Ernest and young offered me a job and looking back I remember getting the invite and I was working at a motorway service station. I got the confirmation through I got this job and I just walked out of the motorway services thinking my career is now made.
I spent the first few months working on an employer solution, so I got a lot of experience with businesses dealing with employment issues and then got asked to join the tax investigations department and got up to London.
I moved up to the London office in Southampton within three weeks and ended up working in their private client services on tax investigations but also with a partner, a really respected partner Richard Reespulley who dealt with all the high net worth individuals and sportsperson high profile clients.
I was in the thick of it doing tax investigation work on some very well-known performance artists with international tax problems and then doing the planning for them.
It was a fantastic experience.
I spent a few years in London and then moved to the Bristol office thinking that I’d be closer to my family, I wanted to get out of London where it was dog eat dog.
The honest truth is I had a London weighting salary and I could move to the West Country and have that salary still in the West Country, it was really good from an economic point of view.
Dr Ro: At that point what was your growing passion in this subject?
Anton: I just absolutely loved the challenges.
I love the fact that whilst people go, tax must be really boring.
Every client has a different set of circumstances that fit differently to the legislation and into law generally, so you’re always facing really interesting challenges with clients.
When I got to Bristol I went on secondment to a large telecommunications company in Newbury for seven months and then decided that I wanted a change from the big firms. Which is when a PricewaterhouseCoopers trust arm was separating from Price Waterhouse and they were looking to set up the tax department in the UK so myself, and another respected tax professional set up this department.
I then did financial services qualifications.
So if you look at it from an experience point of view I was involved in offshore structuring, I’d been involved in the UK already and then I did my own financial services qualifications and helped set up a financial services team in Tower 42 in London.
Then I got approached by another trust company to do exactly the same, which I did and became an equity holder and then decided that actually it was more appropriate to set up my own business and have my own equity in my own business.
When I did that I got approached about becoming a non-executive director and or director on boards of offshore funds as I had connections with the offshore fund administrators through my life in the offshore world.
The experience has just escalated and I’ve seen so many different things over the years it has been fantastic.
Dr Ro: Running your own business has that given you more diversity or has it allowed you to focus on specific areas?
Anton: At times that has been the worst move I’ve ever done but at times the best.
There is no experience like running your own business.
You have so many more things to deal with from a team of 14 advisers in Cheltenham to deciding when I had a young family I wanted to set up an office in Bristol and move back to Bristol.
It’s been just an evolution of experience on running your own business and yes it has resulted in me getting lots of experience.
I’ve now been approached by Tolley’s, Lexus, CCH I write for all of them.
I write on various subjects such as separation, divorce, and practical enquiries, I do annotated finance.
Within the industry I’ve got a lot more into picking and choosing what work I want to do, but for fortunately I have a larger team behind me now that obviously do other work as well.
Harms: What it sounds like is during your career there has been a fearlessness where you’ve just gone from either department to department, or you’ve taken a new challenge and you’ve just gone for it.
Talking to my generation I’m 30 years old and often I find in my generation there is a feeling of I’ve got a career and that was it.
Whereas that kind of dynamic has changed slightly, have you got any tips for somebody of my generation on how you just made that transition from one department to another challenge to another experience?
Because you’ve probably got phenomenal stories to share, but many of my generation won’t experience that because they stay in the same position in fear that they’ll lose that perfect career.
Anton: When I was your age I got asked to speak for a professional education firm and a lot of that was a kin and related to things like Anthony Robbins.
I started questioning what stops you from going places and what made you drive forward and I started reading books on neuro linguistic programming as I found that fascinating, and then I started reading psychology books.
The basis of psychology was two main subjects.
One was about happiness and what makes you happy and for me I discovered from reading a psychology book by Oliver James, called ‘They F you up’ which is all about how parents mess your life up or how your personality is created.
I was the youngest child of three which often means you get a sense of satisfaction and happiness out of achieving things and this is really sad because you’re the third child, you are not given as much attention.
Then I was reading other books like Antony Robbins and Rich dad Poor dad and you start thinking, well what are the obstacles?
The only obstacle to making you do stuff is yourself.
And that’s been an interesting journey so at your age of 30, I started writing my own goal list which I then taught other people to do and it was amazing.
My life went from a career at the professional services firms to if you google my name on the Internet I think I fill a couple pages of Google if that’s an accolade that’s an accolade. I don’t know.
Some of it might be bad but I suspect most of it’s all about what I’ve done and what I’ve written about and I’m still very much task oriented.
Rather than hide from it, I embrace it, it’s something I love doing.
I will have some satisfaction once we’ve done this discussion and then when I write for example, I’ve just written Tolley’s Tax Digest on the trust protections 22,000 words, it’s like a small book.
Today I give the sign and it gets published and that will be an amazing feeling of satisfaction.
Dr Ro: Congratulations, by the way.
Anton: Thank you.
Dr Ro: That in itself is a great message to everybody because that’s very much the thrust of what we do in Seekardo and that the concept when we set this up was an older voice, younger voice.
We’ve got two older voices here, one younger voice today, but it’s nice because sometimes the people who tune into this are looking for that message as well.
And if it’s reinforcing a different way it is fantastic.
Today’s subject is estate planning and wills and that’s one of the big areas for you that is played out in a big part of your career.
The first question and maybe the most obvious question but maybe not so obvious to people, what is estate planning?
Anton: Estate planning is just a generic term, it could mean a lot of different things for example, it could mean asset protecting.
It could mean structuring your personal and business affairs.
I like to think of estate planning as managing the efficient passing of wealth. It is putting those wealth into structures during your lifetime, not necessarily at death, so it is about starting and thinking early and proactive.
What we do find is most people think that if you go to a solicitor for example, a solicitor will say yes, you need to estate planning, do a will.
A will deals with your assets on your death.
So whilst you’re growing your wealth and your assets should you not be thinking about it during your lifetime?
One, it’s easier to do things with assets whilst they are of lower value or whilst they’re accumulating growth rather than just everything on your death.
On your death even if you do a will you need to be aware that actually your beneficiaries of the will could all club together and change and do a deed of variation to your will. So would you have passed assets in the manner you want to?
Whereas during your lifetime you have control over that, it is putting wealth in structures during your lifetime and then facilitating those structures or the passing of further assets at death.
Let’s say Harminder you’re 30 starting out in business, that’s a life event, that’s something that they should be considering what do they do and how do they structure it?
They want to give shares to their children?
Do they want to pass the family business on, do they want to build the business and sell it?
All those questions, certain life events things like death, divorce, separation, bankruptcy, they will have an impact as does having children.
This is interesting estate planning goes wider than just passing assets it can also include things like who is going to be the guardian of my children?
Who do I trust to hold assets in order to control those gifts or the money to the children as they’re growing up?
Dr Ro: That’s such a true point as having had kids myself this conversation happened some years ago with Stina and I and oddly enough, you’re spot on, because the conversation was more about who do we trust to look after the kids?
What didn’t come up in the conversation is who do we trust to look after the kids and manage the things that we own?
i.e. the property for example.
I think it’s more of an emotional thing for parents.
You don’t tend to think about the finance you think about the children and how they can be looked after.
But there is so much more behind that.
Anton: I think it’s difficult because people who look at the children and they say right I have got personal rights and obligations or duty to make sure that they are cared for and they tend to also want to avoid the topic of death.
That’s why so many people don’t do planning during their lifetime as they’re like, I’m never going to get ill.
I’m not going to be the one that gets cancer. I suspect most people that listen to this will know someone that has been ill since, seriously ill.
Harms: That is in itself such a challenging and difficult subject to discuss.
Now if you are someone of my age, my mums had cancer, but how does somebody in my similar situation, or if we take the current circumstance which is your coronavirus which should be bringing into awareness the reality of somebody passing hopefully not, but that could happen.
Do you have any tips or a story you can share where a younger person can tackle this with their parents.
They can start the conversation with their parents because I know a lot of parents or within families who just will refuse to talk about this.
We’re both from an Asian culture, you don’t have this discussion with your parents.
In Asian culture you really don’t and anybody listening to me you will know that your parents just will not speak about money, they won’t talk about assets.
Assets in other countries, they own, are off the table. Don’t talk about money around us.
Anton: I think different cultures have different ways of dealing with it, I think in my Caucasian white English culture it’s more open to discuss.
I’ve had Asian clients where the parent is actually one of the strict things they talk to me about is keeping the contents of their planning and their wills and assets secret and private from people generally.
There are different things you need to deal with.
Often I have found that in some of the Asian cultures I’m thinking of one person, she actually turned around and said to her parents, you need to talk to this professional adviser.
When I was introduced to the parents and we discussed their affairs it took over 12 months for them to do something, it’s still a very difficult situation to actually appreciate I’ve got a plan for my death.
To put it into the contents of why it’s important I had a client who wanted their will drafting.
He and his son, both used to race in the TT races on the Isle of Man. This is going back about five or six years ago and he was going off to the races and I was like you should get it all signed up beforehand because he had lived with his partner, but they weren’t man and wife and they had children and all the assets were in his name.
This is a really sad story actually but he did race in the Isle of Man and he crashed and died along with his son. If anybody Google’s TT races accidents it’s one of the most reported on the Internet.
However his assets were then under scrutiny by his ex-wife and not his current partner.
There was a massive conflict that went on afterwards that left his partner and his younger child in a rather poor state for several years.
Dr Ro: What do you think from all your observations of people, human dynamics, what do you think stops people making that step?
Anton: I think maybe, if it is painted in different lines, i.e. you’re not planning for death but you’re planning to facilitate surpassing on the wealth of the family in a controlled manner and you don’t address this is going to happen on death.
Maybe if you dress it as this is going to be passed onto the children as they grow up, or some people who don’t have children might say what’s the point?
But many people that I meet, especially when we present on tax and property structuring.
They not only want to pass on to their family, but they want to make some contribution they want to give to charity and they could do that, just on their will.
But wouldn’t it be nice to set it up during your lifetime and start facilitating the passing of assets to charity.
Maybe your own charity.
Dr Ro: That’s a great point in the sense that it gives people a greater sense of meaning to why they would want to do it, because often people do more for other people than they will for themselves.
The other thing is that we are busy, especially people your generation Harms, you’re busy doing your stuff and trying to live life at a young age and it tends to be pushed back.
Harms: There’s a feeling of I’m invincible, I don’t need to worry about things like this, that’s not going to happen to me.
That’s something that may happen to me in 40, 50, 60 years’ time, and there’s also lots of information which says, our generation will live well beyond a hundred years because of the technology and those kinds of advancements that keep us going.
Until something like coronavirus occurs and you look at the technology and it’s going to take them however many years potentially to create a vaccine for this scenario.
That’s when it should become a real conversation, but there is a feeling of invincibility for sure and it’s not really discussed.
What I liked about that and taken away is rather than have the conversation as a non-expert with your family for my generation is very much hey look, here’s a couple of experts you may want to speak to on the topic and is not going to happen overnight, but it’d be great if we started to speak about that handing over of wealth or the transfer of wealth over time.
Rather than waiting till it’s all messy, that’s what I’ve taken away from the question and the answer Anton has just given us there.
Dr Ro: As someone is progressing through their life Anton you talked about life events and different types of estate planning.
Could you elaborate on a few of those in terms of what things are to be considered along the way, as we have listeners in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and in 60s as we’re recording this.
Is there anything for people to be mindful of?
Or possibly you could just bring a magnifying glass out and share a couple of things.
Anton: The first one is when does somebody need to do something?
That’s the biggest question is, and it might be the fact that they’ve got their first property or the first asset at that point if they were to pass away directing where that asset goes becomes important.
That’s the first stage and the next one might be marriage.
For example if someone has their will and then they go and get married the previous will becomes obsolete because marriage voids your will, so you would need to do another will then.
We found people later in life they’ve done their wills following a divorce for example, which is another life event where you might want to, and then they met somebody got married and they haven’t entered into new wills.
In that scenario they’ve voided both their wills that they had previously and they now have no will.
Dr Ro: Are we saying if somebody gets married by default the previous will is totally void?
Dr Ro: If someone’s sitting here now they’ve got married, wrote a will maybe they’ve been married before.
Where does that estate now sit?
Anton: The estate passes intestate so it goes according to what the government says.
It could technically be that your wife will get a proportion; the children will get a proportion and then a proportion will go to the Crown.
I think the wife gets 125,000 and also the children but relatively small amounts and then if there’s no wife, no children, then it goes to the crown.
It’s not the best way of structuring it, but the amounts passed to the wife or the surviving spouse are relatively small, and certainly not enough to survive.
Also in that scenario, there could be an application to the court.
The family can club together and apply to the court, but it’s an actual inconvenience of the process of sorting the estate out and whilst the estate has been sorted out how are people going to live if they have no access to funds.
Let’ say one spouse is a predominant earner and has the majority of assets in their name that generate the income.
All that could be in limbo for a very long time whilst the process of applying to the court to sort the estate out goes on.
Dr Ro: I don’t want to magnify the pain for people but I do want to get people to realise the lack of planning in this area and I know I fell into this trap myself in the past if you put it back.
Especially if you’re dynamic and you are trying to do things.
Can you just go back to the pain of this, what have you seen in situations where people haven’t planned, what are some of the consequences?
We talked about how they’re in limbo, they can’t get access to money, emotionally what does that often do to families because it’s not a pleasant time.
You’ve experienced the death, but there’s all this other stuff going on in the background. How does that play out?
Anton: The situation of somebody dying intestate first of all of the assets of the estate are in limbo.
Dr Ro: I guess my question is people left thinking, what do I do and does it result in arguments and fallouts?
Because this is going on daily the number of deaths every single day in this country.
I don’t know the percentage of people who don’t plan for it, I can’t even begin to imagine the stress it puts on people.
Anton: I think one thing that you just said then what happens, do people fall out?
When there’s falling out between family members it’s always weddings and funerals, and that sounds awful, but that’s when people fall out.
When somebody dies you find the amount of people that say well my sister went into mum’s house and started taking possessions that she wanted which mum was leaving to both of us or to me.
Stuff like that happens all the time.
But when someone dies intestate the biggest problem is that the surviving partner gets up to 270,000 on personal possessions and then the remainder of the estate is shared where the surviving spouse would get an interest in the half remainder and the other half is divided amongst the surviving children.
There are things that aren’t taken into account and this is probably more common nowadays, but some people like to only benefit blood relatives and not non-blood relatives, that sounds awful but it’s true.
You might have been in your second, third or fourth marriage and there might be children from spouses that aren’t connected to that could end up benefiting that you don’t want to benefit.
I think in that situation where you have been through more than one marriage, and you have children from different marriages and the spouses of those marriages have children from different marriages or even different relationships, I should say.
That’s when falling outs can really occur because people might think they’re entitled to something.
If you haven’t prescribed what you feel is people are entitled to, then that creates difficulties.
There’s been a number of situations where I’ve got one at the moment where the family originates from the US, but the mum and dad have become domiciled in the UK and therefore they’re leaving their asses to their two adopted children.
But one of the adopted children she moved to the US and she has got an acrimonious relationship with her parents.
In that situation the parents want the bloodline to inherit the same, so both children’s bloodline will inherit the same, but they want to bypass the daughter that is acrimonious.
Harms: It is just highlighting the importance of how complex this can get, how nuance this can get and how particular based on what someone’s desire is.
What we spoke about was your will gets automatically voided if you’re married, so what happens if somebody were to have children?
You’re a married couple now and you’ve sorted out your will and you’ve got children.
Anton: When you have children, your will doesn’t become void, but it does address a new issue, which is, if you pass away whilst your child is a miner, so i.e. under the age of 18 then you are left in a situation that the child has got to be cared for, that assets can be held in a manner that allow the child.
Let’s say you have a million or two million of free cash that is available and it passes on, and you pass it onto your will.
If you’re going to pass it on to the child you want to wrap it into an environment that is protected in order that the child can benefit from education, maintenance during their lifetime.
I use the analogy if I pass away and all the assets are in my name and my wife runs off with the gardener.
But the gardener actually is in it to take the assets.
This does happen, though where somebody loses a partner they become emotionally more vulnerable they enter into another relationship over time, that relationship doesn’t work out, but that new partner has become entitled under common law or matrimonial law an amount of the estate.
For example if I left my assets to my wife she runs off with the gardener, and two years or four years later it doesn’t work out and the gardener makes a claim on the assets, but the gardener had nothing and has no prenuptial or post nuptial agreement with my wife.
That sounds awful to say, then he has a potential of taking 50% of those assets.
In those situations if I were to pass away my assets go into trusts for the children.
That is then protected for their benefits in a controlled trust, they will get money from the trust in order to look after their maintenance, i.e. cost of their school uniforms.
The cost of going to school, education needs, cost of going to University, but it’s protected and they won’t get the capital from there until they’re older. Until they are, I think it’s 21.
Dr Ro: That age can be chosen by the parents?
Under trust you’ve got to pass capital 25, but you can put some restrictions in place as well on discretionary trust.
If you go into that realm comes the question of which jurisdiction you use for the trust?
If you are really super wealthy, then it might be that other jurisdictions offer more flexibility under trust law than the UK does .
Dr Ro: What about couples that are listening to this that may not be man and wife and living together for several years.
Does that, by default, put them into a position where they are common law man wife?
Anton: In that situation, let’s say if they die intestate than the assets as there is not a marriage in place, the assets won’t go to the common law partner.
That can be contested again in courts they contest; they have spousal rights but it’s the inconvenience of that process.
Another good reason why it’s sensible to put a will in place.
Dr Ro: Can you just elaborate what does estate mean, what falls into estate?
Anton: The house normally is one of the largest assets in the person’s estate, but the estate can mean anything from your personal chattels.
For example, I’ve got a few nice watches.
My first-ever expensive watch I bought when I got my employment offer from Ernest & young and it was an Elgin swatch and my original will left that watch to my brother and unfortunately even in my life it’s not been smooth.
My brother hasn’t been the nicest people at times, so I would no longer want him to receive that watch, it’s a personal thing.
Now I have children I would want my watches to go to my son anyway. It could mean planning with those chattels, something very personal.
It can include things like your businesses, your property portfolio, your stock portfolio it includes basically your estate is all of the assets. Physical assets or intellectual property or rights everything that you own.
Dr Ro: Anton when you’re sitting down with a client is there a process you go through?
Is it a case of just collating all that information and digging deep into the person’s life to get a sense of who they are, what they own and what they do.
Anton: A lot of it is about getting to know the client, this is where I struggle with people who can just do a will online because you don’t have someone exploring or delving into what you want to achieve, and all the different idiosyncrasies all the different events that could happen in the future.
For example, you talked to someone for over 20 years and you had a number of clients you saw a number of events, so you would turn around to a client and say okay, so your business do you really think one of your children would take over your business?
They might say little Johnny might be interested in taking over the business and then they start thinking about it. I’m not sure Johnny has the mindset to run the business and he wouldn’t run it like me.
Then it might be better to build a management team to run the business, offer them some equity incentives but hold the shares in trust for little Johnny instead.
That’s the type of exploration you go through and that could go even deeper and you could say, well okay, so what’s little Johnny like?
He is at university at the moment and he is partying a lot and having a good time. You’re like okay so do you think there might be a risk that Johnny is going to party for the next decade?
Like my cousin Steve he is now in his late 60s and I think he’s partied for the last 46 years.
Harms: What I’m taking away from this is it is almost like having somebody which a website and an online will just cannot produce, which is somebody whose objective is to ask you difficult questions because the romantic idea is little Johnny will take over the business and he will pass it to his kid.
That’s the romantic idea, but when reality hits it is that little johnny couldn’t care less about the business and they would like to go be a doctor or are inspired by the amazing NHS workers at the moment.
All of those things play in mind until Anton Lane has an objective conversation with you.
Is that fair to say?
Anton: Absolutely, there can be so many different events.
Estate planning does one stage further and says okay, so if you’re planning to give your estate away do you need to control that gift?
How are you going to control it when you’re dead?
Dr Ro: What does control mean in this context?
Anton: Let us say Harminder you’re a business person and with that comes certain risk.
I know that I’ve been in business for a long time now and you take on a certain level of risk. Loads of people have successful businesses and then Covid-19 has come along and those businesses might not be looking so safe anymore.
Let’s say your parents want to pass assets onto you and that that leaves them with some choices.
For example, they might want to put those assets into a protective trust, which means that in the event that you become bankrupt you are locked out from benefit, which sounds awful, but those assets are then protected.
During a period of bankruptcy you can’t take assets out, they can’t form part of your claim on bankruptcy to pay your debts off.
You could include other eventualities, I’m not saying it’s going to happen to you Harms, but other things like if they go through a divorce I want them locked out as I want those assets protected from their spouse.
They could say I’m going to make the trust discretionary, which means that the trustees have discretion over how you benefit and therefore the trustees that have the discretion and power can say yes I will give you something now, but I’ve noticed you’re behaving a little bit strange.
You’re back on your drugs or alcohol problem again I will pay for you to go to rehab but I won’t pay for you to have another Ferrari.
Dr Ro: Those trustees are chosen people that you trust in going into that or are independent and objective people?
Anton: They’re chosen people and most people will want somebody they personally trust on and I would say for example if you’re 80 it’s probably not sensible to appoint somebody else that is 80 years of age to be the trustee.
Bad things happen in marriage and divorce people fall out, when you die and your estate is there money has a strange way of changing some people.
There are obviously going to be some people that don’t take that approach, but I would say the majority of people are going to see the money and say this is going to change and make my life better by getting more of this, or they’re going to say in the case of divorce I’m going to have one last stab at him or her for being unfaithful.
Harms: And potentially a third party is encouraging.
There’s that kind of thought when somebody is at an emotional and intense significant time in their life, rationality or what you agreed five years ago, or when you got engaged that goes out the window.
You can see that commonly.
Anton: The same mindset happens unfortunately in death.
For example I know some people who were rather close to me actually where the two sons were the executors and leading up to their mother who was not well and it was predicted that she would pass away.
They had the power of attorney over the assets and they started taking assets as gifts saying mum has given this to me, she knows she’s not well, she’s of sound mind, she’s given me this before she died because she wanted to plan her estate differently to her will.
It sounds awful but they saw the money, took the money, mum passed away and strange enough the will actually left more of a percentage.
The grandchildren would have a larger sum because the way that will work, had those assets been left, but they’d taken their amount out.
The will had specified fixed amounts to the two sons, but they’d taken the gifts out beforehand and therefore the grandchildren got smaller amounts.
It sounds awful but these things happen and in all the times I’ve seen it and I’m thinking of people I’ve known personally; I would never have expected of them before.
Which either makes me a really bad judge of character but I think it’s the fact that people see the money and they think it will change her life.
Harms: Talk directly to my generation and almost answer the question when should we be thinking about this?
A follow-up question would really be how long does it take to set up?
Because my generation is all about convenience that’s the kind of mentality that we may bring to the table. How much time do we need to invest in setting up a will properly?
Anton: I would say as soon as you have an asset that is the right time to do a will, as soon as you have a valuable asset.
If you don’t have an asset but you have life insurance then you should consider writing the life insurance in trust so it doesn’t fall into your estate, it goes into a trust so it isn’t included in inheritance tax.
But you can then put it into trust and pass it on in a manner through that trust to either your children, partner, spouse, or if you’re really young you might want to pass it onto charity or other family members.
In answer to your question when should you do your will when you have an asset.
How long does it take?
It depends on how complicated your estate is, how wealthy you are, and how many beneficiaries that you would like to benefit from your estate.
Because each beneficiary will have a conversation about does that beneficiary have any issues, are they a vulnerable person?
Do they have an illness that needs care?
Do they have a disability?
You can have an initial conversation with an adviser which might take half an hour.
At that point, you probably understand if your assets are a reasonable size it’s going to take a few hours of not only discussing with an adviser but what I would do is have an initial conversation and then let someone sit on it for a few days and think about what they want.
Because when you prepare a will for someone they will often come back to you after premises saying I’ve thought about this a little bit more I wouldn’t mind actually ring fencing the amount for little johnny into a trust.
Their mindset changes, people need to think about it, that’s why it’s easier to do during your lifetime.
Because if you have it on your agenda that you need to plan it makes it easier to deal with.
Having the time to think about it, and as you mention Harminder people are busy.
People are short of time nowadays and that might be another one of the reasons why people don’t give this enough concentration.
Dr Ro: Would I be right in saying that the more specific, the more explicit the will is the less confusion there is amongst family members post death, but would that be fair to say?
Anton: That is correct and that’s why if you go online and do an online one it will never be as specific as a tailored will.
But if, for example, you do lifetime planning and you do your structures and your planning during your lifetime, you’ve been even more specific about it because you’ve implemented it, it can’t be changed, it’s in place.
There’s more to lifetime planning and structuring.
I’ll use the illustration for example, let’s say your Ro your business is worth five million and you don’t need any increase in that value you could create, for example, during your lifetime capital growth shares and give those shares away to either a trust or your children.
Firstly it reduces your estate for inheritance tax but also puts those shares in a controlled place, the growth will happen in your business over the next 10 or 15 years of your life, it will pass them into an environment that is more controlled.
Harms: As your business estate or investment portfolio, et cetera grows do you advise that people keep a will up-to-date or is there just one will that encompasses everything?
Anton: If you are in lifetime planning then that negates the need to do so much in your will.
If you’re not doing lifetime planning than the need to do your will is more important and the need to update your will be more important.
Certainly, Ro and I who have been around a lot longer know that life events result in changes to where you would like assets and money to go.
My business for example, I don’t think any of my children are going to become tax advisers, so for that business for example, I think I will sell to the management.
As your assets change you build a property portfolio and people go I will give property A to Johnny and property B to Alice for example.
Actually, you might want to incorporate your property portfolio, you might want to put it into a company and then give away shares in the company or give away a different class of shares in company, or even giveaway capital growth shares.
You might also want to enter things like shareholders agreement to have things like pre-emption rights to stop little johnny selling his shares to an unknown third party, that then is involved in the business that you don’t want.
You might want to have rights that they have to sell to the other shareholders first for example, you can even prescribe in those agreements, you can prescribe the values that would be paid and the terms of those values and whether it is a loan over a period of time.
Dr Ro: What you’re talking to us about is there’s lifetime planning versus a will.
If lifetime planning is put in place during the course of the life whether you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s, that planning in theory should mitigate a more complicated will, in the sense that you’ve already prepared in the event of your death the will points back to what you did in your lifetime planning.
In other words the will is never simple because it’s referring back to what you prepared in advance.
Harms: Doing it that way I imagine it avoids all of the negative scenarios or consequences that we want to avoid, i.e., your family falling apart, the money changing people.
Whereas if people were aware in advance of the arrangement would you suggest, for example I’m creating a will and doing lifetime planning in order to support that will I would have an open conversation with everybody involved in it in advance or is it a case of because I know some people who have created a will and the people who are involved in the will have no idea what’s written in there. I
’m just asking what would you suggest is the better approach?
Anton: I look at it in three main items you should do planning during your lifetime.
You will have to have a will in any event, so you need those two things, but the third item is what’s important to ensure in the event of death as well, and how to plan for that.
Prior to the age of 50 life insurance is relatively cheap as statistically you’re not going to die early or not as likely to die.
You can get life insurance that works on the retail price index increase, so it will increase the premium, but you will still have the benefit of the pot for the entirety of the term.
Let’s say you need £80,000 a year to support your family that equates to let say 140,000 pre-tax you would need approximately 2.8 million in a pot to give that same level of income to support your children.
You could whilst you’re younger but life insurance in place into a policy if you die that would support your children, those are the three angles I would look at.
Dr Ro: This is a working back process.
You’re saying, okay, what do you think children would need?
What would that equate to pre-tax income and then working based on a return on investment in this case, 4%, that’s what the pot needs to look like, so now let’s design the life assurance to deliver that on my death.
Anton: For people that don’t want to do lifetime planning yet and these might be the people that I’m going to say normally under 50, this won’t be the same for every person but let’s say they don’t want to do life planning.
They will do a will but then their estate, assets are worth a million of assets above your nil rate band for IHT.
You’re going to have 400,000 of IHT to pay but in order to have that 400,000 to pay the IHT those assets will need to be sold by the executors by the estate.
Dr Ro: For our listeners that is inheritance tax.
Anton: In that scenario, the insurance might come in to say ensure my life for 400,000 to cover the IHT.
The assets can then pass on through the will to the children or to the surviving spouse or partner free of IHT through the will because you’ve ensured the IHT.
That is separate life assurance.
Harms: For listeners listening at home if you’re feeling this is overwhelming.
Hopefully now this is bringing to the awareness of how complex it can be, and why it’s massively important to have the conversation early.
Anton to help the listeners at home what is the first step they should be considering, what is the number one step that they should do?
Anton: The first step anyone should do is know what their assets are and where they want to pass them.
When you have a list of your assets for somebody coming to talk to me for example, it’s a half an hour conversation and you will have a general good idea of what that person wants because you’ve seen so many other people with similar circumstances, then you will be able to pick the experiences from others.
Yes, it is a complicated subject, it can have many different tangents, but it’s something again might be a reason why people are afraid sometimes of it but have that conversation with someone.
Harms: That should help people just refocus and say I know this is now important and my first step is exactly that.
Dr Ro: I think Harms has raised a good point because there might be couples listening to this one half listening to this thinking I need my other half to listen to this.
I think it’s great if you can get your partner to listen to this interview with Anton because I think in listening to it remotely it might open the other person up to that discussion because I think it has it now, particularly without a doubt it’s heightened awareness.
The shock of what’s happened globally is everyone is sitting up, going, what about this, what about our grandparents and our children?
Most people in lock down these are good times to have open, honest discussions without any agenda apart from to find the best course of action to protect the family estate and the children.
Harms: As well as couples I would also say parents and children because my generation many of us still live at home as well.
During the lockdown period we will be at home with our families and I’m sure pulling their hair out right now, but this could be a structured conversation.
Dr Ro: Define what a trust is because there’s a lot of myth or mystical beliefs about trust.
Anton: A trust is the separation of legal and beneficial ownership, so the trustees will have the legal ownership.
The beneficiaries who are the people can benefit from the trust have the beneficial ownership, in common law beneficial ownership is stronger than legal ownership.
The trustees have to hold those assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries in a manner that is prescribed in the trustees.
There’s a legal document that specifies how a trust operates. for example, it will either have an interest in procession for the beneficiaries, which means that they are entitled to income as it arises, or it will be discretionary, which means that the trustees have discretionary power whether to give income or assets to the beneficiaries and in the manner they do that.
That might sound like a worse scenario, but discretion is generally a more flexible arrangement.
The trustees have this overriding responsibility to act in the beneficiaries best interest where you have a trust and, for example, you don’t believe the trustees are going to necessarily act in accordance with the trust deed if you saw that as something that might happen you could appoint a protector.
This is someone that can sack the trustees and appoint new trustees.
Dr Ro: Is there a simple example of a trust you can describe for us, whether it’s around property or an asset.
Anton: A common type of trust is where someone has a business which qualifies the inheritance tax relief, which is business property relief.
Let’s say you have a company where the shares qualify for business property relief you could pass the shares into a trust and that means there is no IHT on passing into the trust and those shares can then pass on to the benefit of future generations should you pass away.
I appreciate I just complicated the whole subject there on estate planning but there is just another angle.
That’s a very simple trust. It could be a safe discretionary trust so that trust will be let’s say for the children, minors, it holds assets in order to generate income to pay for their maintenance as they go through that life.
Another common trust is and these are normally set up on wheels or when someone is seriously ill but is a trust of vulnerable persons.
Vulnerable persons could be somebody that suffers from a disability, they could have physical impairment. They could be wheelchair bound and not be able to look after themselves, they could have a mental disorder or anything like that.
They’re a vulnerable person and we care for a lot of our family that are vulnerable persons and, for example, a person with down syndrome if the parents are looking after the down’s syndrome child were to pass away that child’s life is going to be severely impaired.
Unless there is some mechanism to look after them, which is where trust can come in for a vulnerable person.
Having the confidence to have that first conversation I appreciate it’s been complicated but talk to a specialist advisor about the subject and they will guide you through it.
Dr Ro: What can a typical property investor do if they’re listening to this?
Anton: I would say the typical property investor will normally put their properties into a limited company and then play with the shares, i.e. giving shares away or putting the shares into trusts giving capital growth shares or passing the shares on death.
I use the illustration sometimes when I’ve presented this of mum and dad have two children and they give one property to one child and one property to another child.
Is it fair that property A has gone to child A grows exponentially in value and benefits, child A more than child B?
That’s when people go, maybe it’s better to have them collectively given away. that doesn’t suit all.
Some might say, well, the two children always fall out. I don’t think they should be shareholders in the company that might be where a trust comes into its own the shares.
A trust owns shares in the company and they are then looked after for the benefit of the children. That’s typical planning for property investors.
Dr Ro: Let’s recap.
What you’re saying is there might be two children and there are two properties but one of those properties might go up in value a lot more than the other one, and if it’s left to child A they may get better benefits than child B.
So owning them collectively means they would share the benefit in both properties.
One may be higher cash flow the other being more capital growth.
Anton: One reason for doing a limited company for passing on your property portfolio to children is that they share in the pot of property, they share in all the benefit of all the properties held in that company.
Another reason is during your lifetime it is easier to give away small chunks of shares, for example you could create 1,000 shares in the company and every year give away one or two shares and whatever the value is that your annual exemption for inheritance tax is to your children or to a trust for your children.
The third one is a company has a certain tax favoured status for property when it’s investing and it may be that that company could be used as an investment vehicle and control how the shareholders do so now the children were to behave regarding their share interest in time.
For example, let’s say there’s a property portfolio of five million put into a company and one child wants access to the whole of their two and a half million, but the other child thinks well, it’s better for these assets to hold for a while because in two years’ time they’re going to be worth 10 million when we come out of this recession.
In that scenario you could tie into a shareholders agreement which says the company can buy the shares off the existing shareholder and will buy them for x amount within those agreements.
The company could purchase its own shares if it’s accounts allow it to, it could raise finance to do that, and buy the shareholder out.
There’s lots of reasons for using a company in planning with the portfolio and how their portfolios passed on.
80% of people that own a property portfolio that want to pass it on for estate planning will end up being advised that they should incorporate it into a company and give the shares away, that’s 80%.
It’s very unlikely that a partnership would be a good idea.
It is possible, you can control it for a partnership agreement to an extent, but the company is so much better than a partnership in my view.
Dr Ro: With partnerships you get personality clashes, risks as well if one of the partners gets into financial challenges and brings that risk into the partnership.
That’s something that does and can happen.
Anton: Yeah, this is an aside from estate planning where you don’t formalise your partnership arrangements; you expose yourself to the 1890 partnership act, which means that Ro and I go into partnership.
Ro being the generous one brings in all the money to do the partnership and then halfway through I say I’m entitled to 50% of the capital introduced to the partnership.
You would say obviously not because you didn’t introduce any capital and I say that we don’t have a formal agreement. I’m relying on the 1890 partnership; I’m entitled to 50% of that.
There was an investor who had a 20 million portfolio and it was their accountant who claimed they were a partner within the 1890 act.
Drawing this back to estate planning, where you form a partnership for a family you’re exposed to similar risk if you don’t formalise a partnership agreement.
Even when the family has a partnership which may be appropriate I would always prefer a company in this scenario, but there are circumstances which may be personal to the individuals involved that warrants a partnership, as opposed to a company.
Where that is the case, there should be a strict agreement in place that the details of what each partner’s interest is and then that allows you to pass on interest over time, increasing partnership, shares etcetera if you wanted to estate planning.
Harms: For example, a younger property investor starting to build their portfolio just to re-emphasise, when should they consider even starting this is it, before they purchase their first asset or after they purchase their first asset?
Anton: The biggest hurdle I think investors find using a limited company is the amount of gearing that you can get within a company.
That dictates a little bit what lenders will provide, what an investor on their property journey can do.
If you’re starting out in the world of property investing and you don’t have a significant amount of deposit you will probably find it easier to take a personal mortgage and own the property yourself than to live in it.
Let’s say you’re an investor and you are able to put 25% or more down you will get borrowing within the company.
High street banks are now lending to companies that would normally happen the rates might be slightly higher but from a tax angle you get the deduction over interest as well within a company in its entirety.
You’ve got some pros and cons.
There might be slightly higher fees with the company because you’ve got the accounting of the company and tax returns et cetera to do, but if you can start in the company I would do so.
It makes the journey a lot easier to build a portfolio within a company the reason being if you’re not looking to take the money out of the properties immediately you’ve got a lower rate of tax in the company, which means you’ve got compounded growth.
The income you generate in the company can be reinvested and the effect of compound growth on anyone’s portfolio is phenomenal.
Dr Ro: If someone has started a property portfolio maybe it’s a limited company, husband and wife they’ve got kids, but it’s just husband-and-wife at the moment.
Now they’re up to four, five, six properties are there a point where those shareholdings that we talked about could be put in a trust for the children that need to be implemented sooner?
Because there will be people in their 30s, 40s, 50s listening to this, are there any hard and fast rules in terms of when those shares need to be set up?
Anton: This is a difficulty with estate planning; it will depend on the individuals involved.
Typically up to the age of 50 they will probably say it’s highly unlikely I’m going to die, I will plan for everything on my death, my lifetime planning will be to put a company in place and hold the shares.
I may as I get towards 50 create a different class of shares to give to the children or give to a trust for the children.
At 50 people are more likely to say I need to start giving my assets away, so you spent all that time building your assets and now Ro you’ve got to start giving them away.
Another key trigger will be when the children if you have children, they become adults because when they become adults you think they are more responsible, or it might be that, let’s say your daughters had a string of relationships and she doesn’t seem to settle down very well.
You might go okay, that’s definitely a trust situation where your son for example, might actually be in a stable marriage and there are children coming through that marriage as well and you don’t want to give it all to the son because he is doing well economically, but it will pass down to the grandchildren.
Those events will steer where you’re going with your planning.
The easiest thing is to sit there for 10 minutes looking at your portfolio and go well, if I weren’t here I would want those assets to be in that pot, either protected or directly given to someone.
Dr Ro: It’s removing yourself from it, saying what would happen next if I wasn’t here.
Can you explain a bit about offshore and the context of that for anyone listening.
Anton: The first thing to say is that non-UK domiciled people, people who don’t originate from the UK have a different treatment for using offshore structures, then UK domiciled people, so people born here.
Generally there is no benefit offshore structures holding UK property so that will blow that myth hopefully out the window.
There might be some rare circumstances, it does work, but generally it doesn’t work.
Structures owning other assets whether it’s share portfolios, businesses may very well work.
Offshore is an exceptionally complicated area of tax there is a huge amount of anti-avoidance legislation, so it’s not for the modest wealth.
It’s for high net worth individuals. If someone is telling you can set up a trust for 250,000 you’re going to lose your money in professional fees very quickly.
With offshore structuring there is also something called offshore criminal offence in the UK.
If you do offshore planning and you don’t do it right and you don’t declare the income on your tax return that you should’ve done for example, then you face the offshore criminal offence.
That is an offence it doesn’t require proving intent to defraud the inland revenue or HMRC it just requires proving that you didn’t put something in your return. That can result in up to 53 weeks of imprisonment.
Offshore structuring is for people that have a significant amount of wealth and are generally non-domiciled.
UK people can do offshore structuring, but it’s going to be a lot more expensive to get it right and there’s a lot of risk associated with it, so you do need to get it absolutely right.
Dr Ro: If someone is UK based but has an international investor as a business partner, i.e. you’ve got a limited comely setup in the UK what type of conversation should be being had with your business partner?
I.e. you’re based here you’re a director, you’ve got an international director of the company, you own properties and assets in the company.
What type of planning could be considered in conversations that could take place there?
I’m thinking also for the people listening that may have joint venture partnerships going on as well.
Anton: When you have a joint venture in a property that means it’s a partnership or I’m going to be a company, normally with JV’s if it is a rolling process that might be for a company.
The overseas investor, how they invest and whether they have direct ownership or whether they use an offshore structure to own.
For example, if I originate from outside the UK, I’m living outside the UK, but I own shares in the UK company, those shares could be UK sited under the terms of the double taxation agreement with a country you live in.
Those shares will be exposed to UK inheritance tax.
If the investor wanted to protect from inheritance tax in the UK they could then set up an offshore structure to hold shares.
The risk to that person is literally where they live, what the tax jurisdiction in that country allows them to do. If you look at certain jurisdictions in Europe, they don’t recognise trusts, or they try to look through trusts.
So in that scenario, you might use something like a foundation or want, or just maybe, a simple offshore company.
I guess the answer for the investors is knowing the double taxation agreement between the UK and the overseas is the key starting point to understanding how you can structure your investment.
Dr Ro: Then in terms of long-term life planning the same conversations have to take place if you’re owning properties with somebody else and you’re not husband-and-wife and it’s a non-family member in that limited company, and there’s five, six, seven properties owned both directors of the company have their own kids, the same conversations we’ve been talking about still have to take place i.e. do we split them?
Do we try and find similar properties inside the company and we take half or are they shared through a share ownership?
That gets more complicated when there are two directors that have got families that are not family members themselves.
Anton: Also on the international investor it’s worth mentioning one more thing, which is if you invest both here in the UK and I invest overseas.
Let’s say I draft a will for the UK and that will also control how the assets are dealt with and that I hold overseas.
Normally you have to draft a will in that country where you are investing in order to direct how those assets are treated if you don’t hold it within a structure, this is a bit more complicated.
But if that’s the case, you hold assets overseas and let’s say I draft a will in the UK in 2000 for my UK assets, and in 2020 I draft a new will to manage my overseas assets if that will that I drafted doesn’t specify it’s only in relation to the assets in that country i’ve just overwritten my UK will as well.
Dr Ro: How many people fall into that trap?
Anton: Quite a lot, if you think about the amount of UK people that own property in Spain.
So in the process of doing the 2020 will there needs to be a conversation with whoever is helping draft that to say do you own?
Do you own overseas? It’s the whole combination.
Harms: I want to ask about a business owner.
They don’t necessarily have a property portfolio; they have another type of business which falls in a particular kind of structure.
What’s the difference there?
What does a business owner have to consider when doing their lifetime planning?
Anton: Let’s do an illustration of a UK resident domiciled business owner.
They have a trading company and they want to get assets into an environment that is tax efficient and has control of the assets for their children. Typically, a business owner can transfer the business into a trust which qualifies a business property relief and they can buy the business back out of the trust, which allows the trust to hold cash.
There is no inheritance tax on setting up the trust and it allows that trust then to hold cash and invest for the children.
That’s one potential piece of planning where assets qualify for business property relief there is up to 100% exemption for inheritance tax, so when someone is getting on later in life and they’re starting to think about managing their assets for inheritance tax purposes, investing in assets are qualified for BPR, this is property relief or for APR agricultural property relief.
It’s quite important and just to pick some stocks in aim for example, the alternative investment market qualifies as business property relief.
You can get diversified portfolios managed now they are considered high risk as they’re stocks and shares, but because they are so diversified if you look at past performance subject to things like Covid-19 those shares and stocks and portfolios are done reasonably well.
If you look at it from an IST point of view, you’ve got to lose the value of, IST which is 40% of whatever you invest to make it not worthwhile doing.
Property investors love properties. It’s something tangible so that they can hug so that might be more akin to doing some furnished holiday lettings, which again can qualify for business property relief.
It’s thinking about what you invest in and if you can transfer your assets to something that qualifies for business property relief.
Dr Ro: It’s the nature of the business that plays out here and this comes down to the conversation, it’s laying everything out on paper and then deciding as you said, where I want this to go and also during my life how can I be tax efficient as well, not just towards the end for my kids, but also whilst I’m alive as well.
Harms: I want to thank Anton for before we move on to the final part of the podcast for downloading and answering our questions because many of these questions weren’t prepared, we’ve just fired them at Anton adhoc.
We are focusing on understanding not only where we are in the current climate and the situation, but to start and encourage you to have the conversation around and estate planning and in order to do that Anton has answered a handful of questions which have really been focused around what is estate planning that is number one, how do we actually bridge the conversation?
How does my generation bridge the conversation with parents, a spouse, and if we don’t do that, we answer the question on why estate planning is important.
If we don’t do estate planning what’s the big consequences that have been discussed today as well.
Finally we spoke about what a typical property investor can do and also what a typical business owner can do.
We’ve been lucky to have Anton come and speak in this subject as he is an expert but with everything please go and seek out expert advice on this.
We’re really just talking about scenarios, elements, consequences, impacts because we really want people to act on this otherwise we discussed the challenges that you may face.
Dr Ro: I am going to pre-empt this and say imagine somebody was coming to see you, what sort of information would they need to collate to sit with a specialist?
Anton: A list of assets is the most important, a list of income, whether they have any insurance policies, how they hold those assets.
For example, whether it’s through pensions and companies, et cetera that’s the most important thing.
The rest of it really if you’re talking to an expert you have a fluid conversation which will have prying questions.
I think it’s really useful to do that meeting the conversation where you have that discussion so you get a feel for the client’s appetite of what they want to do.
Harms: Anton what would you like to leave the listeners with?
Anton: The first one is identify your assets and where today and in the future you would like those assets that wealth to go.
That’s the most important.
I then think it’s quite good to have a stab at listing the potential strategies, have a stab at saying it needs to go into a limited company or in a partnership or offshore trusts.
Then put an active plan in place, this is the one thing that we all talk about to people we present to; the most important thing is to take action.
Put a timescale on it when you are going to do something?
What’s the first step you’re going to take to implement one of those potential strategies or is it to talk to an adviser and then implement your potential strategy.
I think the fourth takeaway and it sounds awful, but don’t feel miserable, but expect to die.
Everybody does, it’s going to happen.
You might as well embrace the concept and can plan accordingly and the final one, which I think has come out through the conversation today is expect your beneficiaries, expect the people that are receiving something of your estate not to behave.
Don’t leave your planning to your death.
Harms: One of the things that’s really jumped out at me was managing the efficient passing of wealth and I think that’s a much nicer way to talk about death.
Thank you from myself as well.
That’s myself, Ro and Anton signing off we will see you on the next episode of the Seekardo podcast.
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