Succession: Before it’s too late!

Phil Taylor profile image
Phil Taylor
Director Client Services, Family Office
Published: 27th Jun 2024
The transfer of generational wealth has long been topic of conversation, with many families taking pro-active steps planning and implementing strategies to ensure that the hard-earned family wealth is passed onto future generations in a controlled, well managed and structured manner. Although some families still struggle to openly address what is not the most pleasant topic of conversation, but inevitable all the same; and a subject that should not be avoided.

Education with open and honest dialogue are key factors behind successful succession planning, take your family (and advisors) on the journey with you! Educating family members, including the younger generations (if they are of an appropriate age) about the family wealth and the structuring in place allows them to understand what has been put in place and most importantly why it has been structured as it has. Not only does it often results in an appreciation and understanding of the level of effort and thought that is being put in to protecting the financial future of your loved ones, but it can also help family members understand your personal values and family principles.

Making your wishes clear surrounding succession and how you wish the family wealth to be invested often sparks a very interesting discussing enabling family members to put forward their own views. More often than not siblings have very different views and personal circumstances, and an open discussion can bring this to the forefront allowing you to plan appropriately. Potentially segregating assets for each child to allow them to access or invest in line with their personal views and circumstances. This approach can also reduce the risk of a future dispute and family fall out which benefits no one!

Aligning personal values

Families are clearly more focused on decentralised finance together with environmental, social and governance (ESG) and responsible investments, potentially even forgoing some profit along the way.

No one knows what the future holds so ensure your wishes remain fresh and current, circumstances change constantly, whether it be marriage, divorce, new additions into the family or geopolitical events. Flexibility for change in circumstance should always be allowed for. Families have become increasingly international and failure to plan and structure appropriately and flexibly from the outset could result in large amounts of wealth locked up and future generations unable to access funds when they need it the most.

We often rather simply associate the event of succession with death, but what if someone becomes incapacitated by another means, creating complications around the transfer of wealth? Steps can be implemented to allow for such eventuality; and repeating oneself, the education and openness of your wishes can help smooth the path considerably.

Our aim is to build a strong and long-term relationship with you and your family, understanding the needs and wishes and thoughts of all stakeholders ensuring that everything runs smoothly in an organised manner. Where we can help:

  • Trusts – Trusts are a vital and unrivalled tool for effective private wealth management, succession planning and asset protection for ultra/ high-net worth[SP1] [PT2]  families.

We provide trustee services managing a variety of trusts to suit our clients’ circumstances and meet their wishes that assets are managed in an effective and efficient manner for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

  • Private Trust Companies (PTCs) or Private Trust Foundations (PTFs) – we act as trustee of a family trust or trusts. A PTC or PTF provides several benefits including:

o   Family members can hold a board or council position on the PTC or PTF enabling them to have an involvement with the decision-making process

o   Greater flexibility and move-ability with the ability to change directors or council members rather than changing the trustee of the trusts which is far more efficient and economical

o   Introduction of future generations to the family wealth in a controlled and structured manner, allowing younger generations to become involved and educated

  • Companies – We administer companies to hold a diverse pool of assets, whether this be listed investments, private equity, real estate, or those more bespoke luxury assets such as artwork, super yachts or an aircraft.
  • Foundations – In certain circumstances, Foundations are considered as a viable alternative to a Trust and can often provide flexibility and the ability to retain involvement in the day-to-day decision making.
  • Family Office – We work with ultra/ high-net-worth families supporting them through a wide range of services to help navigate the challenges families face, allowing you to focus on what is important to you knowing everything is in safe hands.

Leaving a lasting legacy

In short, take the right advice from established and trusted advisors and find the very best trustee to join you on your journey. Allow them to add true value, taking a weight off your mind so that you can enjoy life safe in the knowledge that your hard-earned wealth will be protected for the benefit of future generations for years to come.

As is always the case appropriate independent tax and legal advice should be sought prior to the implementation of structuring.

How can we help

At Altum Group, we understand the complexities and challenges family offices face. Our dedicated team is here to provide expert guidance and solutions. Whether you need assistance with governance, succession planning, risk management, or engaging family members, we have the experience and expertise to help you navigate these challenges successfully.