Our clients seek to manage their wealth not merely to grow it, but to preserve it for future generations.We take a holistic approach to wealth structuring, working hard to identify legal solutions that work across different countries and asset classes, but which also feel right to each individual or family.
This might involve creating holding structures to include trusts, foundations, companies and partnerships, or making use of treaties to maximize investment potential. We also assist families considering their asset protection and long-term family succession, by creating the most suitable vehicles to provide maximum return and post-lifetime planning mechanisms through wills and other testamentary arrangements.
Alternative and hybrid structuresA solution for many wanting to pass down their wealth to the next generation is the creation of family investment companies (FICs), family limited partnerships (FLPs) and hybrid structures that make gifts more flexible and tax-efficient. These structures allow you to involve family members in the management of wealth while still protecting its value and can make family assets more robust.
When thinking about how to manage wealth, it is essential to consider governance, which means setting out a code of practice that fits in with values and vision of you and your family. We can help by developing a family mission statement, or constitution to act as a starting point and put in place governance structures that align with that mission statement. You, your family and advisors can then use this code to drive forward your objectives.
Managing inherited Israeli funds
We helped a US based family with inherited Israeli funds understand and navigate the structure of their inheritance. The non-US trustee was losing significant money each year through the investment strategy, structural inefficiencies and tax inefficiencies, and the inheritance had dwindled without being tapped for use by the beneficiaries. We delicately negotiated with the trustee to stop the hemorrhaging of the assets while working with the IRS to obtain a full penalty waiver for the beneficiaries with respect to failing to report their inheritance to the IRS (initial projections showed potential penalties well in excess of the remaining inheritance).
Property on French Riviera
Advised a Monaco based client on the reorganization of the ownership structure for his EUR 30m property on the French Riviera, working closely with French and Monegasque advisors to rationalize the structure in the context of the new French trust taxation and reporting rules.
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.
Family with evolving business
Assisted a family with the creation of various offshore asset protection structures for different elements of their evolving businesses based on differing risk, sector and geographical profiles. This involved jurisdictional reviews noting the need to manage reporting requirements and protect against forced heirship rules relevant to the family.
Managing wealth between generations
Assisted a UK based family whose business is in the second/third generation on creation of wealth planning structures, including family limited partnerships, primarily for the purposes of enabling the elder generation to pass on shares in the family business to the younger generation without passing on complete control of the business until such time as the younger generation had proved their credentials.
Private investment fund
We assisted our client, a European family to establish a private investment fund and investment structure together with a trust holding structure.
Brazilian family offshore structuring
We worked alongside Brazilian counsel to advise a client on the FATCA and CRS reporting requirements applicable to their complex succession structure for his offshore assets. These included a private trust company, trusts, companies and other entities, a private investment fund and multiple investment accounts, and involved the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and the US. The advice also needed to take into account the client's plans to relocate his family from Brazil to London, and possibly thereafter to New York City.
Chilean US family tax work
Working with a Chilean–US family, we helped to address compliance deficiencies in their family wealth succession planning structure. Small modifications to the structure substantially decreased US annual taxation and simplified reporting, addressing the US family members' income tax, FBAR and FATCA reporting issues. We also liaised with Chilean banks to quickly unfreeze needed accounts.
Chilean US immigration
We helped the US-resident daughter of a successful Chilean entrepreneur through immigration issues and residency planning, supported tax and reporting efficient giving from her father, and provided cross border structuring advice.
European family with US connections
We advised our client, a non-domiciled UK resident and his family on a new structure that was required to be efficient from a US and UK perspective and with trusts designed to optimize tax efficiency for his children on the event of his death. Our family team also advised on a multi-jurisdictional post nuptial agreement.
Monaco based family
Our London based private client team work with clients located across Europe, including those jurisdictions where we don't have an office, but a presence and history in advising. We were able to advise this Monaco based family on their global affairs, including their trusts and other asset holding vehicles. The objective was to ensure UK tax efficiency and seamless family succession of core assets and investments.
Aided a Brazilian family with significant US commercial real estate holdings to restructure the ownership of this property to avoid US estate tax. Also devised arrangements for Brazilian residents to create legitimate structures that are protected from Brazilian taxation, permit efficient repatriation of capital to Brazil when needed and ensure optimal flexibility and family control to respond to changing needs and tax laws in the future.
One of the wealthiest families in Argentina
Advised on the creation of a long term governance and succession planning structure for one of the wealthiest families in Argentina in order to ensure family control of the business across generations, educate younger generation family members on governance responsibilities and protect the value of the holdings.
US children of Peruvian parents
Creating US revocable and irrevocable trusts for the US children of Peruvian parents to enable the children to benefit from their parents' Peruvian wealth without causing US estate taxation and optimal income taxation.
Protecting family wealth in a US-Canadian marriage
The child of a wealthy Canadian family moved to the United States and married. We advised the family on protecting their assets and created trust structures sufficiently flexible to grow with the child and the child's emergent new family needs, while avoiding inclusion in the child's US estate and minimizing a potential divorce settlement payout. This included optimizing various in-bound real estate investments as the family purchased, exchanged and extensively renovated properties.
Representing Canadian entrepreneur
Our client is a prominent Canadian entrepreneur with US ties, who we have advised for over a decade. Amongst an array of legal services, this has included coordinating her worldwide succession planning structure and advising on postnuptial co-ordination for her second marriage to protect her substantial global business interests.
A wealthy Kazakh family
We advised a wealthy a Kazakh family and set up a wealth planning structure designed to tax efficiently fund family members residing in the UK.
British rural estate
Providing advice to the trustees and family members who own and run the estate on all tax and structuring matters, including succession planning. Recently, we advised on the structuring for the sale of land for development both from a tax and planning perspective. We also created a new LLP to own and run the estate, to help achieve the family's aims in involving family members in decision-making and succession planning.
Multi generational South East Asia family
We were instructed by this family, consisting of several members spanning two generations, in relation to setting up a private trust company structure (PTC). The PTC acts as a trustee of a master trust to hold the family office, family business and family investment entity. The beneficiaries of the master trust were a series of "feeder" trusts established for the benefit of each of the family members and their respective families together with a number of charitable entities. In addition, we advised the family on establishing a sophisticated governance structure, including a family council and family constitution.
A wealthy European family
A European family asked us to create an overarching trust structure to hold their commercial interests in the UK, Greece, Cyprus, Singapore and elsewhere. Resident in Monaco and London, the family needed the structure to operate as an estate plan, enabling wealth to be passed between generations. This was all done in conjunction with a family constitution governing the management of their wealth.
An ultra high-net-worth Asian family
Our Singapore office helped a wealthy Asian family to design and implement a wealth-holding structure that would segregate assets of different classes. Our clients hoped to rationalise a disparate set of holding structures, protect their assets and implement some effective family governance, and we were able to meet all their objectives.
A family partnership
Withers advised a family office when they wished to implement a 'tracking' partnership basis. Our team pooled the family's high-value investments into a single entity structure but allowing each family member to allocate their investments to the assets that suited them best. This tax-efficient structure was tailored to the individual financial needs of each member, their tax status and goals.
The UK "non-dom" regime
"Non-doms" have returned to the political spotlight.
In our series of articles we explore what the UK "non-dom" regime is, what it may look like in the future as a result of potential political change and the alternatives regimes available across the world.
Read our short articles below to find out more.
26 April 2023 | Article
New reporting obligations for estate planning clients under the Corporate Transparency Act
16 August 2022 | Article
Does a US revocable trust need to be registered under the UK's Trust Registration Service?
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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
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
Withers techWith offices in innovation hubs from Cambridge, UK to Cambridge, MA, our technology and venture capital team regularly support startups and spinouts, helping them to scale, expand and thrive. Find Out More
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