Succession: Planning for the future
The transfer of generational wealth has long been a 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 discuss openly 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. It also 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.
Making your wishes clear
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 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!
It is strongly believed that the next generation will be far more focused on decentralised finance together with environmental, social and governance (ESG) and responsible investments, potentially even forgoing some profit along the way.
What does the future hold
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 born 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 to 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.
Where we can help?
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
In short conclusion, take the right advice from great advisors and find the very best trustee to join you on your journey and allow them to add true value, taking a weight off your mind and so that you can enjoy life safe in the knowledge that your hard-earned wealth will be protected for the benefit 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.
Director Client Services, Family Office
Phil has over 22 years experience servicing private clients and specialises in the management and administration of complex international trust and fiduciary structures for high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and their families.