17) Wealth What is it for? Beyond wealth transfer.
Many people are wealthier than they ever dreamed possible. So what that wealth is actually for, in the long term, is a question which needs to be considered. Maybe you can’t do much about it in your lifetime, because it is tied up in your home. But maybe you can. Or perhaps it is a family business, and you are concerned about the proportion of family businesses which fail in the second generation or just cause family rifts.
We’re not financial advisers, so we’re looking at the strategic side of things. Somehow or other you have lots of money – tied up or not – which is going to need to be put to good use. Should you give it away, no strings attached? Should you leave it all to charity (and which one?) Can the kids be trusted or do some controls meed to be put in place? What about the grandchildren? Can the wealth be kept going for future generations? And so on…..
You have worked hard for your wealth, or maybe you have just been lucky. But good legal planning and careful review of the options can keep your wealth doing something useful? The earlier the planning process starts, the better it will work and the lower the eventual tax bill will be. And 40% is a big slice to lose to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
One way of cutting the tax bill is to give money (or assets) to charity. Maybe even set up your own charitable foundation just like Bill and Melinda Gates (but maybe smaller – you don’t have to be super rich. Personalised charitable trusts come in all shapes and sizes.
So where does the Wealth Transfer process start? You might want to think about writing a mission statement answering the question: What does this family stand for?
Wealth Planning Review.
With us, a Wealth Planning Review starts with a 25 minute initial telephone discussion with our dual qualified tax barrister and solicitor (£150 as at January 2016), which is followed by a brief email suggestion options and costs. You can go for a more expensive option if you wish, but this one will probably give you plenty to thing about.