We understand that you and your family are unique. We will work with you to put in place solutions that manage and protect your dependants' inheritance.
We offer clear and practical advice to help protect your wealth for the next generation.
We can help you understand inheritance tax, your financial requirements in retirement and how to preserve your family legacy.
Take action to protect your wealth
We understand that business interests and estate wealth are exposed to numerous risks, such as:
- care home fees
- excessive inheritance tax
- business continuity problems following the death of a shareholder or director
- who inherits business and personal assets
- loss of mental capacity
Our private wealth service can take steps to manage your exposure to risks.
Professional services network
As well as offering legal expertise, our private wealth team works as part of a professional services network.
This means we can tailor solutions to your personal circumstances and our solutions are not limited to legal services.
We draw on our team of professional advisers, who cover financial planning, accountancy, private banking, corporate finance and valuers to provide you with a comprehensive wealth, tax and investment management advice service. Find out more.
Beswicks Protect is a comprehensive wealth protection service that makes it easy for employees to get solid advice from our expert solicitors completely free of charge. Our team can visit your workplace to give a presentation and hold one-to-one consultations, providing staff with crucial information about how they can protect their assets and ensure their families are provided for should anything happen to them.
Estate planning for families
Families have all sorts of different priorities and wishes when it comes to planning who can benefit from their estate. There may be children from more than one relationship to cater for or certain family members may be vulnerable which would mean inheriting wealth outright would not be sensible.
Inheritance tax may be a cause for concern or you may not know if your estate is exposed to this. What if someone loses mental capacity because of an accident? Finances can become frozen and if you want to move house you may not be able to without a court order.
There is a broad spectrum of areas we can help with and we work with financial advisers who can identify the best retirement and investment strategies for you.
For entrepreneurs, business owners and sports
- Lasting Power of Attorney
- Lifetime trust creation
- Inheritance tax planning
- Business and career wealth succession
- Asset preserver wills
- Business protection wills
- Dying without a will
- Joint ownership of assets
Essential business protection
Do you have an exit strategy for your business? What would happen to your business interest or career wealth if you passed away? Will the business be able to carry on and can your co-shareholders or partners acquire your business interest if you are unable to continue to be involved? How much inheritance tax might your investments and career wealth be exposed to?
Protecting your business and your loved ones may depend on the answers to these questions.
The fact is that most people in business and who have built up considerable wealth during their careers would prefer to pass that value to their family rather than the taxman but wealth often leaves close family vulnerable to less scrupulous individuals. It is vital that you make sure you have received the right advice so your wealth is accessible only to those you choose.
We advise business owners, executives and individuals in sport on their financial plans and help formulate succession strategies by putting in place essential estate planning tools to protect wealth and dependents should the worst happen.
Know your legal duties
If you are a trustee or an executor it is important that you understand your legal duties and responsibilities when carrying out your role. Get it wrong and losses caused to beneficiaries could be your personal liability.
We can help with everything from tax matters involving HMRC through to what minutes and documents should be in place as evidence you have carried out your duties properly.
It is also a very sensitive and distressing time when someone passes away and often the executor is the person most affected. Our bereavement service can help you through the process, identifying the steps that you need to take.
You may also need help from a financial adviser or an accountant, our professional services network will help to find the right professional adviser for you.
For executors and trustees
For the retired
Planning your retirement
Hopefully, you are enjoying your retirement. In fact, for many clients, life in retirement is busier than when they were working! This often means that essential planning such as wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney can be overlooked.
You may be interested in how to protect your home for your family or understand whether inheritance tax will affect your estate.
While enjoying your hard-earned retirement is no doubt a priority, we can help you to make sure your family has as little stress as possible by putting in place essential estate plans, covering areas such as how decisions are made if someone loses mental capacity.
We do not charge to have an initial conversation and all our work is based on fixed fees agreed upfront with you.
“Straightforward thinking and clear legal advice could have helped this family avoid costly mistakes. ”
Margaret and Phil were married having been previously married and divorced. They each had adult children from their previous marriage and jointly owned their main house, which was worth approximately £400,000.
Phil’s son had recently helped to pay for improvements to Margaret and Phil’s property and Phil advised his son that he ‘shouldn’t worry as he will be entitled to a larger proportion’ of their estate when they pass away.
However, Margaret and Phil didn’t have wills in place or Lasting Powers of Attorney to help with finances if they were to lose mental capacity. When Phil passed away first the nature of the joint ownership of their property and the intestacy rules meant that Margaret inherited the whole house and Phil’s savings.
Before Margaret died she lost mental capacity and had to go into care. The savings and share of the house she inherited from Phil were all assets that had to be used to fund her care and the house had to be sold. With no Lasting Power of Attorney in place, her family had to go through an expensive and drawn out court process to sell the house and access her finances to pay for her care.
When Margaret passed away, what was left of the sale proceeds of the house and the small amount left from the savings were inherited by Margaret’s children under the intestacy laws leaving Phil’s children with nothing.
Margaret and Phil should have organised their estate so that the house was owned as tenants in common with wills in place leaving each other’s estate to a trust, leaving the survivor with a life interest. This would have given Margaret a right to continue living in the house but when she went into care, the trust would have ended and Phil’s children would have inherited his half of the house and Phil’s cash. Phil could also have made provision in his will for his son to receive a larger share of the trust fund because of his contribution to the house improvements.
Some straightforward thinking and clear legal advice would have avoided these costly mistakes and ensured that both families received their fair share of the estate.
“Smart planning enabled Beswicks‘ client to protect his business, provide for his family and minimise exposure to inheritance tax. ”
John is married to Daisy and they have two teenage children. He owns a house with his wife, has a holiday home and has some savings and investments. However significant wealth is tied up in a manufacturing company he set up 10 years ago. He owns 33% of the company and there are two further shareholders who own the rest. John’s shareholding is worth £1m.
When they came to us for advice John and Daisy had no wills and had not considered how much inheritance tax their estate was exposed to. John and his shareholders had been so busy making a success of the business that they had neglected to put in place any arrangements if one of them passed away.
If John was to die intestate (without will) his estate would pass between his wife and children and there may be some inheritance tax straight away. The remaining shareholders in the business would also find themselves in business with John’s widow Daisy and her two children who would inherit his shares between them (the children’s shares in trust). The shareholding would be of little value to Daisy who would need to be able to access cash to support two teenagers and meet mortgage payments.
The solution to this situation was a combination of putting a well-structured will in place in association with a cross-option agreement and life insurance protection. These arrangements maximise inheritance relief and create a mechanism for the surviving shareholders to buy the shares and generate protected cash for Daisy from the life insurance.
Sensible planning has secured access to the much-needed cash value of the shareholding for Daisy, secured 100% of the business for the ongoing shareholders and significantly reduced inheritance tax. The arrangements can be extended to protect family wealth for the children from vulnerabilities such as unstable relationships, careless money management and successive inheritance tax arising in the estates of the next generation.
Your questions... answered
Can I transfer ownership of my home?
Yes. If you and your partner are separating or if you want a family member
Can I give my home to my children as a gift?
Gifting your home can seem like an attractive solution, perhaps to help fun
Can I include my dog in my will?
Pets are considered personal possessions according to the law in England an
Can my spouse make decisions for me if I lack capacity?
No, it is only possible for someone to act on your behalf if you have an LP