10 Aug 2018 3:56 PM

Those with sufficient family wealth and insufficient time to manage their assets often seek help from professional advisors. That help can be one-off project based, or more structured regular support taking the form of a Family Office.

Accountants are in the perfect position to be able to provide this much needed support, as over time we often get to build up an understanding of members of the wider family, and the family dynamics, when attending financial meetings.

Clients have different needs, some will ask me to look after all of their financial interests and related areas, whilst others will ask me to work alongside personal employees or an advisory team. The nature of Family Office support is that it is bespoke and flexible and driven by the needs of the client.

Typically, the Family Office Services I provide to clients can include all or any of the following:

  • Integrating tax planning, particularly Inheritance Tax wealth management plans
  • Coordinating financial and tax requirements across borders
  • Advising on the set up and running of family Trusts, and providing personal Trustee and Executorship
  • Coordinating investment advisors
  • Managing legal advice
  • Supervising insurance brokers
  • Managing the financial records of businesses and personal expenditure
  • Payroll and HR support for personal employees
  • Supervising care arrangements for the elderly or infirm, and operating under financial power of attorney where necessary
  • Assisting in philanthropic ventures

In most situations I take great care to involve the next generation, mentoring them to be able to take their place in the team as they mature into their roles. Inheritance tax planning and Capital Gains Tax planning are usually key considerations to be reviewed within this process of intergenerational involvement.

How a Family Investment Company can be a useful planning tool

Structuring part of the family’s investments through a limited company can be part of the overall tax and inheritance plan. Limited companies have a comparatively low tax rate, currently 19% compared to the higher 45% and 38.1% income tax rates. Parents can keep control through their shareholdings, but allow younger members to become involved in the investment plans and take a dividend (usually to cover their maintenance and education costs) through their ownership of a different class of non voting shares.

The Family Investment Company is a useful tool when considering gifts in excess of the amounts which can be passed effectively through family Trusts.

My clients highly value having access to an individual outside their family unit who can provide, if needed, an objective viewpoint on the decisions that they need to take regarding their wealth.

If you would like to discuss your family office requirements, please contact me for a confidential discussion.