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Oxford: 01865 950972 

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Case Studies: Wills

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Read about various scenarios where we have helped our clients.

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    The clients were a married couple with two adult children, one of whom was considered to be a vulnerable beneficiary

    They wanted to get their affairs in order in a way that would best benefit both of their children and allow them some future planning after the first death. One of the clients was also due to receive an inheritance from another estate and was seeking some Inheritance Tax advice for this sum of money. 
    How we helped
    We advised the clients to make flexible Wills which would allow their executors some discretion and consideration of any family and financial circumstances at their date of death. In this way, the potential future needs of any vulnerable children or future grandchildren could be taken into account. It would allow their executors to hold funds on behalf of one of the beneficiaries either to be managed on their behalf or distributed at a suitable time.In terms of Inheritance Tax planning, a Deed of Variation was advised in order to divert some of the inherited funds into a trust which could be managed for the client’s benefit as well as his spouse, children and any future grandchildren. This would also allow for eventual significant tax savings for the family. 
    The result
    We drafted Flexible Wills for both clients, appointing their children and a third party as executors and trustees. Their estates would be dealt with in such a way that the three trustees would be able to make decisions about the distribution of funds to any vulnerable beneficiaries. This provided our clients with peace of mind about their family’s future.
    Written: June 2020

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    The clients, a married couple with children, were owners of valuable private company shares. They instructed us to review their Wills to ensure they were tax efficient.

    They wanted to get their affairs in order in a way that would best benefit both of their children and allow them some future planning after the first death. One of the clients was also due to receive an inheritance from another estate and was seeking some Inheritance Tax advice for this sum of money. 
    How we helped
    We considered whether their shares could be eligible for Business Property Relief (BPR) and therefore 100% relievable from inheritance tax (IHT). We also looked at matters such as whether they had any debts secured against the BPR qualifying assets as this can reduce the amount of BPR that can be claimed. 
    Their Wills left the shares to the surviving spouse outright on the first death. BPR is a valuable relief and would have been wasted under their current Wills, as the gift to the spouse would already be covered by the spouse exemption to IHT. Furthermore, if the surviving spouse subsequently sold the shares, then cash would be in their estate, which would be subject to IHT, rather than the relievable shares.
    We advised on the merits of putting in place flexible Wills giving the trustees discretion as to who within a class of potential beneficiaries inherits, how much and when. The advantages of this estate planning are that:1. It forces the Revenue to consider if the shares qualify for BPR on the first death. This certainty on the IHT position helps the trustees in their decision making.2.If the surviving spouse needs the shares or the dividend income, they could be paid to them from the trust.  3. If, however, the survivor does not need the funds, then the shares can remain in the trust and subsequently be transferred to the children, some of whom may be involved in the business, without any IHT charges.  4. If the shares are sold whilst in the trust then any proceeds remain in the trust and do not form part of the survivor’s estate for IHT.  5. A further tax planning opportunity can arise whereby the survivor can swap cash, which would be subject to inheritance tax in their estate, for the IHT-relievable shares. This “double-dip” planning can lead to considerable IHT savings.
    The result 
    By making flexible Wills, the clients have ensured that their loved ones can benefit from their business interests in the most tax-efficient manner.
    Written: August 2020

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