Firstly we assess your current holdings, property and other possessions and conduct an audit of what is in a tax shelter, what could be put into a tax shelter and how much tax are you liable to in the present without any changes.
Secondly, we would review your current will to ensure that it does what you want it to do, it is without error and it has not been supplanted by changes in legislation.
Thirdly, we would consider the tax shelters and allowances that are available to you and how many of them have you used and how many of them do you want to use. Within this would be a discussion on the use of trusts and other tax saving entities and whether they would be of use to you . (This could be of particular interest to anyone who is a parent, guardian or grandparent of a disabled child as the tax benefits are potentially compelling!).
There are, of course, many different types of trusts which have various powers but with those benefits you often get a trade off between getting a tax break and then losing control of the money. For instance, would you really want a young man to inherit £100,000 in cash on his 18th birthday where he had absolute control over where it was spent? I am sure you can guess that there is a large chance that the money would be squandered.
Equally, it is not always about protecting your estate against Inheritance tax. Sometimes, it is to settle your affairs in an equitable way to ensure that the money is passed throughout the generations that follow you and doesn’t disappear via the divorce door or through bankruptcy etc.
A final consideration is to ensure that any planning you do still leaves you with enough money should you require long term care.
The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less that you have invested.