Alternative and hybrid structures

Parents naturally want the best for their children, and for many this means passing down their wealth for the benefit of the next generation.

Doing so is not straightforward, however, particularly when family members and their assets are located in different jurisdictions.

This is where we can help: creating family investment companies (FICs), family limited partnerships (FLPs) and hybrid structures that make gifts more flexible and tax-efficient. We work on solutions to transfer assets to the next generation. allowing you to involve family members in the management of wealth while still protecting its value.

This was a concern for a London-based Indian client who had built a thriving construction business and was considering retirement. He hoped that his children would take over the running of his company, where most of the family’s wealth was tied up, but did not feel that his eldest son was ready to do so. He had two further children with his second wife, but they were still minors and as a complicating factor there were tensions between his wife and adult son. We suggested creating a family investment company, which would pass on stewardship of some interests down to the younger generation, but without making them responsible for the family’s primary source of income. Our client was relieved to find a solution that would be palatable to his wife and elder son, while also offering tax savings.

These type of family holding structures can also make family assets more robust. This was important to one landowning family who consulted our London office. Between them, they controlled a large area of land in the UK but the ownership was very fragmented and there was a risk that if one relative were to sell their portion of land – perhaps even to lose it through a bad business investment, or a divorce – that this would negatively affect the rest of the family. We brought the whole estate together in a family limited partnership in which the relatives became partners, taking decisions together.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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