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Case Study: How We Helped One Couple Secure Their Financial Future

With so many options available when it comes to estate planning, it can be difficult to know which services you might need in your circumstances.

That’s why it’s useful to know what others have done in your situation, so you can understand the need to plan carefully.

The following case study illustrates how we helped two clients to plan for the future of their estate. We hope that by reading their story, you can learn exactly how we can help you.

Helping Joel and Theresa

Joel and Theresa are a married couple in their mid-50s. Joel runs his own successful business in London with more than 45 employees.

Theresa was concerned that she may not be able to run the business on her own if something were to happen to Joel. They also have two children, Max, aged 22, and Amelia, aged 10.

Joel and Theresa were introduced to Strathmore because they were worried about the prospect of their children potentially squandering the family’s wealth if they inherited it whilst they were still young. There was also concern over potential disinheritance if one of Joel or Theresa were to remarry or meet someone else in the future, bringing new unrelated parties into contention.

They were also looking to protect the future of the business, both from an Inheritance Tax (IHT) point of view, and in case either of them, or any of the company directors, became unable to make decisions for any reason.

We recommended a range of our solutions to help Joel and Theresa create a robust estate plan that secures their financial future, both for their children and their business.

Writing Detailed Wills

The first step for Joel and Theresa was creating clear, detailed Wills that outlined exactly what they want to happen to their wealth in the event of their deaths.

A Will is the cornerstone of estate planning, as it is a legally binding document where you can make instructions for your money that executors must follow by law. By starting here, Joel and Theresa could have their say on exactly what must happen with their money, business assets and property.

Setting Up Trusts for Their Children

Next, Joel and Theresa were worried about how their children, Max and Amelia, might behave if they received their inheritance earlier than expected. As their assets totalled several million pounds, including the business, Joel and Theresa wanted to make sure there was no chance of their children squandering their wealth if they gained access to it while they were still young.

We helped Joel and Theresa set up Trusts for Max and Amelia, allowing them to ring-fence the money and appoint trustees to control how and when to give it to their children. This extra level of control will prevent the money being squandered, whilst also ensuring Max and Amelia will benefit from the inheritance at some point in their lives.

The Trusts will also protect their children’s inheritance from events such as divorce, remarriage or bankruptcy. This alleviated Joel and Theresa’s concerns over what might happen if one of them died and the surviving one remarried, as the Trusts prevent step-parents or step-siblings making a claim on any money.

Reducing the Business’s Inheritance Tax Liabilities

After sorting their personal affairs, Joel and Theresa needed help securing the future of their business.

One of the most important factors in protecting the future of a business is tackling any Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability. Many families and business owners either accept IHT as a reality of their estate, or neglect to consider it until it’s too late. However, there are a variety of methods you can use to mitigate the amount of tax you’ll pay and maximise how much your family will receive.

The way Joel’s business was set up previously meant there would be a heavy IHT bill to pay if they didn’t use strategies to reduce this. We advised Joel and Theresa over how to reduce their IHT bill, and created some tax-efficient structures to save their money for their family, such as making the most of Business Relief.

Setting Up Lasting Powers of Attorney for Important Stakeholders

Joel and Theresa also wanted a way to protect their business if they, or one of their company directors, became unable in some way to make decisions for the business. This was a potentially risky situation as, if no arrangements were made, there would be no legal precedent for making decisions on someone else’s behalf.

We recommended and arranged Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) for Joel, Theresa, and the directors so that, in the event that one of their stakeholders lost mental capacity and could no longer make cognisant decisions, the business would be protected.

Looking to Secure Your Financial Future?

If you want to protect your wealth and life’s work for yourself, your children, or even for your business, get in touch. Email enquiries@strathmorewills.co.uk or call 01708 923 303.

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Case Study: How We Helped One Couple Secure Their Financial Future