As families have become increasingly more complex, blended and geographically separated, the estate planning process can involve many, in-depth discussions and debates as consideration is given to what can often be challenging issues.
Personal circumstances, requirements, expectations and aspirations constantly change and tools such as family charter's, wills, shareholders agreements, pre and post-nuptial agreements can all help to ensure wealth remains sustainable.
Consideration will need to include deciding on how best to look after young children, vulnerable adults, easing estate/inheritance taxes and reducing the complications of probate alongside the need to ensure liquidity required for settling estate expenses. Other considerations may include cohabitation, marriage, divorce, re-marriage, extended families and retirement.
Legislation and procedures applicable in different jurisdictions, will also need to be taken into account.
As a starting point for estate planning, consider the following:
• Recording all assets and liabilities
• Establishing how assets are currently held
• Which jurisdiction they are held in
• Whose name they are in
• How they owned and what their legal nature is
• How they were acquired
• Are they held directly or through corporate vehicles?
• Review long-term vision and goals.
Trusts and foundations can be essential tools in estate planning and ILS World's private client team has a great deal of experience in their use.
Trusts may be established as stand-alone solutions or as part of a larger structure. Our private client team assist with drafting trust deeds, provide a corporate or individual trustee, establish related corporate structures, maintain trust accounts, arrange banking facilities and administration. Where necessary, the team will liaise with specialist lawyers to ensure drafting is bespoke and precise.
The team also establish and administer foundations in a number of jurisdictions. They are a robust vehicle for protecting and delivering assets for private, commercial and charitable wealth. Foundations offer flexibility and control over the administration of assets and are ideal for clients more familiar with civil than common law.
Our foundation services include planning and structuring the foundation, preparing the foundation charter, providing council members and where appropriate we can act as registered agent together with establishing bank accounts, administration and accounting.
Please note: ILS World does not offer tax advice and would therefore recommend you obtain your own tax advice. If you require an introduction to a tax adviser, we would be happy to assist.