Common Questions

How your family legacy plays out will be determined by the steps you take now in your planning

The worst time to prepare for the future is when the future has arrived..

Here’s our answers to some of the questions we get asked..


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Years combined wealth tax experience


Compliance with legislation

Passing on wealth to the people that matter to you, in the most effective and tax-efficient way

It’s about having a lasting impact for the benefit of the next generations of your family, after you’ve gone. Done properly, your legacy can outlive you, and your loved ones

Happiness is not about getting all you want, it’s about enjoying all you have, then passing it intact to the next generation

So, let’s fix the future..

‘A man’s soul is beyond the reach of the state, but the same is categorically not true of his lifetime’s work’
William Penn

We partner with you to aim to preserve your family legacy for the next generation

We need to be in your shoes to understand the pain, difficulties and challenges behind how you made all the effort to be where you are now

Ideally, plan slowly and involve everyone, or your family may think there’s been a neurological event!

We bring together subject matter experts from across the professions to aim to produce comprehensive, bespoke and dynamic client outcomes

For your peace of mind, all tax advice is provided, in writing,  by fully qualified, practising Chartered Tax Advisors..

‘Ain’t no mountain high enough..’
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

The legacy planning process is similar, but different, for everyone. How you perceive your ‘goal’ has a tremendous impact on whether you achieve it or not, and how long it takes. Systems work, people fail

It starts with a plan of action and requires the drive and energy to see it through

Having an external drumbeat to push you to make progress is really helpful, often more than you realise

Sometimes it takes years for family legacy planning to find focus but, typically, it’ll take 6 to 12 months..

‘Remembering I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve encountered to help me make the big choices in life’
Steve Jobs

Oftentimes, the biggest hurdle to planning is you, and your ego

You’re standing in your own way, but remember, your brilliance, your cleverness, your indispensability, all die when you do

Before you plan, invest time in knowing your landscape. Be attuned to the facts, the circumstances, the players involved and knowing how the issues are perceived by everyone involved, and not just your point of view

Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant. Most people spend their lives wrestling with the consequences of poor decisions

Do nothing and it’ll be clear to everyone that you, and you alone, are responsible for the downfall of your family’s legacy

Your ego got in the way, leaving your family to deal with the consequences of your choices..

‘It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so’
Mark Twain

Your life on this earth will come to an end, that much is guaranteed. If you own anything of real value, there will be death duties, that’s guaranteed too

It’s entirely legal to plan but, if you don’t, the tax authority will confiscate 40% of your entire lifetime’s work, and each of, say, your 3 daughters, will receive just 20%

Do you really like the taxman more than your kids?

If the answer is ‘yes’, here’s some help telling your children: ‘One day kids, 60% of our lifetime’s work will be yours – we’ve decided to give the other 40% to the taxman.!’

No decision is still a decision, and leaves your family to deal with the consequences of your choices

You can be remembered one of two ways – ‘Nobody like me.!’ or ‘Nobody likes me.!’

‘History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon’
Napoleon Bonaparte


Think of it as an investment in the future of your family

As with all things, there are two costs. The cost of doing nothing, and the cost of doing something

Broadly, the cost of dying without a tax efficient will cost family of doing nothing is 40% of your entire worth, less a few allowances. The cost of doing something could be as little as 1%, or less..

‘Tell me that you want the kind of things, that money just can’t buy’
The Beatles

Of course, everyone should contribute their fair share to the financing of public expenditure everyone benefits from

What we want is honesty and integrity in a transparent tax system, upon which we can all rely

What we’ve got is a tax system that was based on a level of integrity which no longer exists, neither among taxpayers, nor within the tax authority, or the framework of government within which it operates

The UK tax system is a mess. It’s is a jumble of complexities, inconsistencies and iniquities, where less expert tax payers pay most. You may have control of the ball, but the playing field belongs to HMRC

The taxman will battle you every step of the way, and it won’t stop when you’re dead. Inheritance Tax is payable by default, but only if you do not plan ahead

Using legal, long-established planning, well in advance, Inheritance Tax in the UK is entirely voluntary..

‘Dear HMRC, I am writing to you to cancel my subscription. Please remove my name from your mailing list’

It all starts with a plan of action, and requires the drive and energy to see it through

Start by taking control of planning your life. We’re talking about deliberate actions that will compound so that your efforts could be making a difference 100 years from now. Do it right and it could positively impact your family for generations to come

Before you plan, invest time in knowing your landscape

Be attuned to the facts, the circumstances, the players involved and knowing how the issue is perceived by everyone involved, and not just your point of view..

‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place’
George Bernard Shaw

Your circumstances very likely will change, and your planning needs to aim to accommodate those changes

You work with us to tell us your goals. We’ll plan for whatever legal outcome you want, and build in the flexibility to accommodate anything you’ve missed, and we’ve experienced before

Keep enough under your control to cope with changes and emergencies

You can choose have our Chartered Tax Advisors handle everything for you going forward, and that can include probate for your family and loved ones when you die..

‘Well the world turns’

We only work for clients who care, really care, about their family and how to pass on the legacy they have created during their lifetime..

‘Wish I didn’t know now, what I didn’t know then’
Bob Seger

It’s an option but, frankly, probably a silly one

Assets can be given away with timeframes, ranging from immediately to 7 years, applying to their effectiveness from an Inheritance Tax planning perspective

Logically, consider gifting some assets and retaining others, because none of us knows what the future may hold..

‘I’ve done all I can, now it’s out of my hands’
Roger Daltry

This is particularly complex subject matter with many classes of assets and ownership models

Typically, the answer is ‘no’ but there are exceptions. You may not need to give everything away. Let’s talk..

‘If you can’t change the situation, change your attitude to it’
Maya Angelou

Remember, your knowledge, your experience, your indispensability all die when you do

We’ll do all your legacy planning for you, then we’ll maintain it and keep it completely up to date as rules, regulations, legislation and your wishes change

Then, when you die, our team of Chartered Tax Advisors can handle probate for, or with, your loved ones, in line with your plans and wishes..

‘My gift is my song and, this one’s for you’
Elton John

Don’t we all, but beware comfy relationships with existing advisors

It’s probably fair to say that your accountant is a good generalist. A safe pair of hands, who’s become a good buddy over the years, and can’t afford to lose you as a client

Likely you’ll know, deep down inside that, for complex legacy planning, you need a faster horse

If you want to check if your buddy is up to the job – ask for a redacted copy of a complex legacy planning report completed in the last 6 months..

We know how that’s going to play out, and only carefully crafted specialist planning can go anywhere towards securing your legacy for your family

We’re not seeking to disturb your relationship, and are keen you involve your accountant in our planning..

‘You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow’

Great. We are not FCA Regulated and we do not provide any form of financial advice

To a Regulated financial middleman, selling unitised investments seems to us to be the premise around which everything else orbits. Processes appear set up to deliver that outcome

Sometimes, the pressure to sell, and the rewards mechanisms, seems to colour the goal of providing genuinely tax-efficient, client-centric, advice as part of the client’s ‘big picture’

In terms of legacy planning, it’s likely the best you achieved was an IHT ‘solution’ relating only to the regulated fund(s) in which you are now invested

We believe, what you really need is a comprehensive, technical, tax based analysis, of your overall legacy planning, provided by a Chartered Tax Advisor..

‘Good enough is not enough, if it can be better’
Rick Rigsby

You don’t and, likely, it won’t.

We’ve reviewed planning for clients that’s been good, bad, and downright ugly!

Planning and strategy doesn’t stand still as HMRC rules, regulations and requirements, Court decisions, Budgets, etc are constantly changing, and all likely impact on on your long-term plans

Old advice may be paid for, but it isn’t free. It’ll probably cost your family money, and consequences only reveal themselves over time (and you won’t be around to know!)

Only carefully crafted, comprehensive, planning can  secure your legacy, for your family

Let us review it for you, for FREE. We’ll keep what works, fix what doesn’t, and create a structure that aims to incorporate all your wishes – then we can aim to keep it that way

Our tax team can even handle probate for your family and loved ones, if that’s what you want..

‘There are no mistakes, I realise – just detours, whose significance only become clear when you see the whole picture at once’
Hilary T Smith

All tax advice is provided by Chartered Tax Advisors, in writing, using only and exclusively, structures within UK legislation

The focus is retirement, and/or legacy planning, and the associated tax consequences and implications

Everything is listed, for all to see, at

HMRC’s rules, regulations and requirements are at the heart of everything we do..

‘One honest voice is louder than a crowd’
Reese Witherspoon

All tax advice is provided, in writing, by Chartered Tax Advisors, who are fully qualified, practising members of the Chartered Institute of Tax (CIoT)

Ongoing, your planning options are, ‘done for you’, ‘done with you’ or ‘done by you’..

Jack, from Birmingham

Your brilliance, your experience, your indispensability all die when you do

You always know how much money you have, but you never know how much time you have

One day you will wake up and there will be no more time to do the things you always wanted to do

You wanna be the man, you gotta have a plan so, let’s get started, right NOW.!

‘It takes the Will of one to affect the lives of all’

It looks and feels great, and the results you can expect are good ones

For each of us our time will expire, but our legacy doesn’t have to

You know how you want this to end. You can fast-forward the movie to the end and you know what you want to happen so, let’s get started..

‘And the forests will echo with laughter’
Jimmy Page & Robert Plant

In the UK, ‘Inheritance Tax Planning’ or ‘Estate Planning’ are terms sometimes used in the financial advice industry as a ruse to sell unitised investments, likely wrapped in some form of trust

That may improve the tax-efficiency of your individual investment at the time of your passing, and it will increase the ‘funds under management’ of the financial advisor with whom you are dealing (and that’s what the value of their business is based on when they come to sell it!) but it won’t fix your legacy planning requirements

Time to get real.. 

You need a comprehensive, tax based review of all aspects of your family wealth and associated planning, in order to aim to tax-efficiently pass your assets to your children and loved ones..

‘I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat every problem as if it was a nail’

We champion ‘recombinant innovation’ which simply means taking disciplines across different UK professions, previously unrelated, and fusing them together for the benefit of our clients

We’re taking well-accepted legacy planning techniques, which is a great starting place, and bringing them together across the professions

We believe continuity comes from buying implementation and maintenance from the same people who made the recommendations

There are 3 options for you to choose from. We call them ‘Done for you’, Done with you’ or Done by you’..

‘Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad’
Miles Kington

We believe they will, it’s just a matter of time

Competitors seem to hang on to the apparent comfort of ‘what worked’

Maybe when you’re immersed in a paradigm, it’s difficult to move beyond it

‘Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake..’
Napoleon Bonaparte

You can either lean in or lean out on this. Your options are binary. Give the taxman 40% of most everything, or plan, properly, well in advance

You’re ready only when you’re ready, and it’s not our job to talk you into anything

Our output is a function of your input

We need an honest and complete picture, not a false chronicle of a handful of truths

Perfection in almost anything is a grand illusion, but that shouldn’t stop us trying

Your planning is complete when it speaks to you..

‘There are no traffic jams on the extra mile’
Zig Ziglar

If you’re fixated on trying to make the world fit into an overblown conception of who you are, then we can’t help you. Likely, no one can

You’ll get a reality check, so only work with us if you want to be told the truth. It might hurt but, likely, it will avoid a future crisis

You can have your own opinions, but you can’t have your own facts

Remember, boiling water makes coffee beans fragrant and tasteful, makes carrots soft and makes eggs hard.!

Phoebe, watching her son in a marching band, turns to Ingrid and says, ‘hey, look, my son is the only one marching in step!’

What our clients say

In almost twenty years of working for us they have acted with honesty and integrity as one of our trusted advisers. We are always treated as important and nothing is too much trouble

John Reilly, Managing Director

John Reilly (Civil Engineering) Ltd

Clients we work with

Here’s what you need to do

One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you always planned to do, so start right NOW

60 complimentary minutes that could save you 40% IHT – you do the maths!