Expert advice on how to plan for the protection of and the future ownership of assets is a cornerstone of the work we do with our individual private clients and families. Whether it be helping families preserve, grow and protect generational wealth or guide individuals who have more recently built up their own, we have real depth in understanding the issues faced.
Our expertise, built up over decades, allows us to advise every client according to their own unique circumstances to find the solution that works for them and their families. We provide a wide range of specialist services including wealth management, trusts, tax planning and family office services.
Assets take many forms and we work with an outstanding and varied client base of entrepreneurs and family businesses, farmers and landowners, owners of heritage property and other high net worth individuals in Scotland and beyond.
You may be seeking to protect your wealth following death or on relationship breakdown, from business risk or to pass it safely into the hands of the next generation. Decisions about who is to receive what and how best to protect and manage those assets are key to proper succession planning. Our team of specialist advisers will form a strong understanding of your particular needs and put in place bespoke solutions to assist with your immediate priorities and long-term goals.
Trusts can be a useful mechanism for asset protection and tax planning and we provide specialist help on all aspects of trust law, tax and administration to those looking to set up trusts, trustees of existing trusts or to trust beneficiaries themselves. Trusts will arise in many walks of life, including in succession planning, financial planning, pensions and life insurance and commercial business.
Our team of Law Society of Scotland accredited specialists in trust law, members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and Chartered Tax Advisors is one of the largest in Scotland and vastly experienced in all areas of trust law and practice. We can also advise on trust and succession issues that may arise as a result of Brexit.
We will share our experience and expertise with you to provide the most innovative and pragmatic ideas.
With the law of succession in Scotland currently undergoing reform, we keep a close eye on how the changes will impact on our clients as they plan for their families‘ futures.
How can we help?
To preserve, grow and protect your assets effectively you need specialist advisers with the breadth and depth of experience to advise on a variety of issues, someone who has a genuine understanding and interest in your personal and business affairs.
You are likely to be addressing a number of important areas, ranging from the preparation of wills and powers of attorney to tax planning, financial and investment advice and choosing the most suitable way of holding your personal wealth.
There may be additional complexities due to particular family circumstances or business interests. We seek to develop long-term relationships with our clients so that we can fully understand their individual challenges and opportunities, and help them meet their objectives.
With accredited specialists in trust law, charity law and private client tax, solicitors dual qualified in Scotland and in England and Wales, Chartered Tax Advisors and the support of our Anderson Strathern Asset Management arm, we can ensure that our clients receive a tailored and complete service.
We have extensive contacts throughout Scotland in the banking, accountancy, financial and property sectors to assist clients requiring advice or services in these external areas.
When used properly, trusts are hugely useful for effective wealth and succession planning. Trusts can be used for a variety of reasons, including:
- to hold assets for children until they reach an age where they are financially responsible and can manage the assets themselves;
- to look after assets for other vulnerable or improvident family members;
- to provide a flexible structure capable of benefitting a range of beneficiaries, for example for grandparents to help with grandchildren’s school fees;
- to provide asset protection from claims on divorce, by creditors or from legal rights (rights to inheritance); and
- to pass assets tax-efficiently to the next generation.
With Law Society of Scotland accredited specialists in trust law, and 13 members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, our trust team is one of the largest in Scotland and vastly experienced in all areas of trust law and practice. We can assist with identifying the most appropriate trust structure and put in place comprehensive and flexible documentation to meet your objectives and ensure that the trustees are given sufficient powers to carry out their roles effectively.
We can also assist with ongoing trust management, administering trust assets, providing investment advice through Anderson Strathern Asset Management, advising on payments from the trust fund, co-ordinating trustee meetings and providing guidance and support to trustees and beneficiaries about their rights and duties.
Tax Planning & Compliance
A comprehensive private wealth plan should include a review of your tax affairs to:
- grow your wealth by organising your affairs as tax-efficiently as possible, making the best use of the tax rates, reliefs and exemptions provided by the UK tax code;
- transfer your wealth to future generations without an unduly heavy tax burden; and
- ensure that any proposed course of action will not have any adverse tax or wider consequences.
Where trusts are utilised the tax position is more complex and we will take care of all the tax implications of setting up, running and winding up a trust in the most tax-efficient way possible. We will also prepare annual trust and beneficiary tax returns for income and capital gains and deal with inheritance tax compliance.
Family Office Service
For high net worth families we offer a “family office” service specifically designed to provide centralised management of wealth, covering every aspect of your personal legal and financial affairs.
Each family office is different depending on the specific needs of the family, but most will involve:
- developing long term strategies for the protection and future growth of your family wealth;
- carrying out the various functions required to implement your strategy, whilst controlling risks and costs;
- investment management, whether that be advising on your investment strategy and managing your investments or assisting with the selection of your investment advisers and monitoring investment performance;
- succession planning to ensure that the wealth your family has worked hard to build up is passed down effectively through the generations;
- tax planning and annual tax compliance;
- setting up and administering tax-efficient structures such as trusts, business entities and pension plans; and
- holding regular family meetings to allow the aims and long term plans of the family to be discussed and monitored.
We are also able to assist with cash flow planning and expenses management, helping with the development and financial education of younger family members and managing charitable donations or otherwise achieving the family’s philanthropic aims by setting up and administering charities.
The service is designed to provide continuity to your family. By getting to know your needs and working with your existing staff and advisers, this leaves you to spend time on the other things that matter most to you.