Hunters’ Private Client Department is a team of leading private client lawyers based in central London. Many of the families looked after by the private client team have been private clients of Hunters for a number of generations: the team has provided a wide range of services to meet the needs of our private clients since 1715 and we are very proud of our reputation in this field. The team assists clients in tax, trust and probate matters, dispute resolution, landed estates, heritage assets, family and residential property.
Q Should I be doing anything with my investments?
A This is not strictly a legal question, and you must take specialist investment advice before taking any action. The weak Sterling means some asset classes have risen in value but others have suffered. In some cases the current relatively low capital gains tax rate combined with reductions in value in the short term may present an opportunity for succession planning. If you want and can afford to make gifts to the next generation, but were previously put off by the capital gains tax liability that would be triggered, this could possibly be a good time to reassess.
Similarly, there may be an opportunity to wind up some trusts where previously the capital gains tax charge would have been prohibitive. Trustees should continue to review trust investments and other arrangements on a regular basis.
Q What is the impact on my overseas property?
A There is no immediate legal impact – no laws have actually changed yet. However, if the UK proceeds to leave the EU, the UK’s status under the EU Succession Regulation will be clarified as a ‘third state’ and your Wills and succession plan should be reviewed in light of this.
Q Should I be putting any succession planning on hold for the time being?
A Perhaps, but not necessarily. Firstly, English succession law is not generally affected by EU law (with the notable exception of the impact of the EU Succession Regulation, the impact of which has always been uncertain in relation to the UK). Secondly, with capital gains tax rates relatively low and inherent gains in some assets reducing, there could be opportunities for intergenerational gifts. Thirdly, there may be some merit to taking action now if you want to rely on current tax rules, given the uncertainty of what the Autumn Statement or a Budget following an early General Election may bring.
Q How will my farming business be affected?
A With so many landed estate clients we are very much alive to the issues surrounding farming. Right now, of course, nothing has changed legally and there is no point speculating until the future becomes clearer. If you wish to take advantage of the current tax laws in terms of succession planning, it may be prudent to take action before the Autumn Statement/next Budget. On these and other matters, including subsidies, we will be monitoring developments closely and are always here to answer any questions or concerns you or your agents may have.
Q Is my ability to reside in/move to the UK affected?
A Nothing has changed legally yet. We do not advise on immigration law, but have been advised by experts in the field that it may be prudent to make applications for permanent residence and/or citizenship if you are eligible. From a tax perspective, the laws on residence and domicile are unchanged and we would be happy to advise on these matters, whether you are considering a move to or from the UK.
Rachel Mainwaring-Taylor – Partner
Rachel has broad experience of private client work but specialises in particular in personal tax and succession planning for UK and international individuals and families, including onshore and offshore trust structures, wills and cross border issues.
Contact Rachel here.
This information is based on the law in force as at 26 July 2016. Although we endeavour to ensure that the content is accurate and up to date as at that date, it is designed to provide general guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive or to constitute professional advice. Specific advice should always be sought, and you should only rely on advice which is given, by reference to particular facts and circumstances.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Solicitors, who will be able to assist you further.