We were contacted recently by a married couple wishing to discuss the inheritance tax (“IHT”) likely to be payable on their valuable but diverse joint estate. The clients contacted us as their accountant had recently made them aware that, as their affairs stand at present, they should prepare for an IHT charge in the region of £2m, which quite understandably concerned both the clients and their family.
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A relatively complex client scenario was presented to us quite recently which appeared to be causing the client’s adviser some problems.
The clients comprised a collection of very successful partnerships and companies each established with broadly the same partners and shareholder/directors (“owner managers”) and each undertaking the same trade but from different locations. The current structure was proving to be unnecessarily burdensome and the owner managers had received approaches from external parties interested in acquiring what they thought was a single business.
We were recently introduced to husband and wife clients who, whilst in the enviable position of owning significant amounts of residential letting property (£10m+), were unhappy with the complexity of the structures in which the properties were held. For various reasons ownership of the properties was split over a number of entities including both a partnership and a limited company, with mortgages attached.