Estate planning, wills and succession lawyers
We have been acting for successful people and their families for more than a century. We work with families down the generations, and we know how important succession planning is to them.Nobody feels particularly excited at the prospect of making a will, but once it's complete you can feel reassured that you have certainty as to what will happen to your family and assets in the future. As a private client firm, we always take a bespoke approach, helping you to structure your wills and trusts according to your particular needs and objectives. You may for example wish to give to charity in a tax-efficient way, or to prevent the next generation from inheriting too much, too soon. Our wills and estate planning lawyers can also help to create structures to protect family assets from creditor or divorce claims against heirs.
Our team of will solicitors includes recognized leaders in UK and US tax and estate planning, elder law, probate, landed estates, philanthropy and trusts. We have a particular strength in issues related to the UK and US, with a team which has one of the largest number of US-qualified lawyers in London, as well as a presence in Hong Kong and Singapore. In addition, we have lawyers qualified in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan; lawyers well-versed on Italian succession; and Russian lawyers, who frequently advise families from Asia, Russia and the CIS.
Lifetime planningA common goal of lifetime planning is to pass on assets in an orderly way and to minimize any inheritance tax burden. Whether you wish to make lifetime gifts in the form of money, real estate, shares, artwork or other assets, our private client solicitors can advise on how to do so in a tax-efficient way. Good lifetime planning can also ease the succession process and certain structures can be created to assist with this. It is also our job to stress-test your lifetime planning to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises later on.
The UK's non-dom regime – time to reform rather than replace?
Changes to the UK's non-dom regime are considered to be inevitable. Read our report to find which changes we suggest, and how well the regime is currently functioning for non-doms.
Estate and business succession plans
Developed and implemented comprehensive estate and business succession plans for high-net-worth families and individuals, which included the formation and restructuring of limited liability entities, intra-family sales, buy and sell agreements, and charitable planning.
Gift planning strategies
Developed and implemented gift planning strategies using GRAT structures and sales to grantor trusts.
Private and corporate fiduciaries
Represented private and corporate fiduciaries in post-death trust administration matters, including preparation of federal estate tax returns.
Represented taxpayers before the IRS in audits involving estate tax, gift tax, and exempt organization issues.
The giving pledge
Assisted a client with her estate plan to meet her goal to ensure more than half of her estate goes to giving back to her community and charitable organizations.
Tracking partnerships for US based family
Advising a US based family who invested together on a "pooled basis". Even though both parents had died recently, the offspring of the family wanted to continue to invest in both real estate and hedge funds, but in varying percentages. Our lawyers structured "tracking partnerships" which allowed the family to continue to invest together but in different asset classes and monetary commitments.
Reorganization of estate
A reorganization of the estate of a US citizen with a valuable Cayman shareholding resulted in an immediate saving for his family of over £100m tax. Involving private client as well as the family teams in the US and UK.
Estate of a 32 generation family
We advised a family on the most appropriate structure to hold an estate that has been in the family for 32 generations. A complex matter, the family wanted the estate to be held by all of their children rather than one ‘heir’ but for the ‘rules’ of ownership and transfer to be clear and fair and ensure that the family asset is retained.
Settlement agreement between heirs
Negotiating and implementing a settlement agreement between heirs, based both in the UK and in Italy, for a high net worth individual in the context of a succession whereby Italian forced heirship rules applied.
Succession planning for leading hedge fund and private equity managers with assets in or connections with Italy, France, Switzerland and the US, among other jurisdictions.
Pre-immigration planning for Brazil-USA move
A Brazilian private equity fund executive requested advice on pre-immigration planning in connection with his relocation to the United States. We helped to coordinate the timing of his tax recognition from certain transactions to occur while he was still a Brazilian tax resident and others to be taxed after becoming a US tax resident. We also established different types of trust structures to protect assets from US estate tax, a foreign trust to defer income taxation on existing carried interests, and a traditional US estate planning trust for carried interests not yet paying out.
North Asian family
Assisting and advising this family based in Taiwan with extensive business interests and assets in multiple jurisdictions. Advice includes a multi-disciplinary team covering succession planning, immigration and cross-border investment.
North Asian high-net-worth individual
Our client based in North Asia, and with assets over US$1b across Asia and the UK, was concerned about his succession planning, particularly in regards to the impact of this on a child of the family with a disability. We worked with him to navigate the legal issues involved across those multiple jurisdictions and to create a plan that always had the needs of the family at the forefront.
The estate of a leading British retailer
We assisted in the probate and estate administration of a member of the family behind a successful British retail business. The deceased was UK resident ‘non dom’, but with arguable common law domicile, and survived by a spouse, children and grandchildren. He held assets globally, some within a complex web of lifetime trusts, and had made wills in different jurisdictions. We managed the difficult domicile claim, co-ordinated probate applications globally and balanced the dynastic plan for the business.
A client using a Living Will
Often, Living Wills are associated with people who wish to refuse treatment should they become seriously ill and lack capacity to make decisions. However in one instance we acted for a seriously disabled client who used her Living Will to request maximum treatment, preserving her life as long as possible.
Transatlantic thinking | An estate planning service for those with US/UK interests
We provide straightforward but thought-through estate plans with clear, up front pricing, for those with US and UK connections.FIND OUT MORE
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Typical clients include
Families and family officesFamilies call on us when they want a firm that understands their needs – whether they are looking to pass down wealth, set up and run a family office, or make their mark through philanthropy. Find Out More
FoundersFrom advising on tax or global expansion, helping company founders realise their vision is an important aspect of our work. Find Out More
High net worth individualsWith complex interests that often span several jurisdictions, highly successful people need seamless advice. With a full-service offering across our offices around the world, we provide just that. Find Out More
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We offer a full range of services to individuals and businesses. Find out how we can help you solve challenges and maximize opportunities.
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