What is a Family Investment Company?
What is a Family Investment Company?
On this weeks episode we ask the question, what is a family investment company?
Sometimes the right thing to do with a family owned business is to sell it. If that liquidity event provides sufficient wealth and financial independence for the owners of that business, they may want to look at ways of passing that wealth on to future generations in a tax efficient way that also allows them to retain control over those assets.
One vehicle for doing this is a Family Investment Company.
In this episode of the show I discuss these businesses with Helen Clarke from Law firm Irwin Mitchell.
We look at what circumstances these can be suitable and the process to go through to set one up.
We look at how a FIC can help retain control of assets, educate the next generation and become a generational planning tool.
We also look at some of the ‘what-ifs’ and pitfalls to avoid along with covering the importance of family governance and robust legal structures.
You can find out more about Helen and her work with Irwin Mitchell, here:
Share this Episode
What is a Family Investment Company – with Helen Clarke
Russ Haworth: Hello. Welcome to this week’s episode of The Family Business Podcast. My guest today is Helen Clarke, who is a partner at law firm, Irwin Mitchell.
Helen, firstly, thank you very much for joining us on the show today.
Helen Clarke: Thank you Russell. Very pleased to be here.
Russ Haworth: And we are going to be talking about Family Investment Companies today and covering what they are, who they might be relevant for, and what sort of considerations we need to take into account when we’re looking at them, but before we get onto that, would you mind giving the audience a bit more detail about your role, how you came to be doing it .
Helen Clarke: Yes, absolutely. So, as you said, I’m a partner in Irwin Mitchell’s tax trust and estate’s team.
So it’s quite a broad area that we cover, but I lead the National teams, Business Wealth Practice, and I work closely with our Corporate law team. So I span, the client base and the private and corporate taxes. And I’ve been practicing for 20 years. So this is my specialist area. My client base has always included family businesses, business owners, serial entrepreneurs, the owner managed business type.
And part of my role, which is relevant to this talk includes advising on succession planning for business owners and family businesses. And that includes pre and post-sale planning or otherwise the transfer of the business to the next generation.
Russ Haworth: One of the, tools at your disposal, I guess is one way of putting it is a Family Investment Company and it may be that many in our audience won’t have heard of, one of those and for, time purposes, I think we’re, we’re going to shorten it throughout the episode to, to calling them FICs rather than Family Investment Companies every time we, we need to refer to them.
So for those who haven’t heard of a FIC, could you sort of kick us off by [telling us] what they are and how they work?
How does a Family Investment Company work?
Helen Clarke: Absolutely. So, I mean, as you said, a FIC is a Family Investment Company. So I think the clue is in the name, it’s a non-trading vehicle with pooled family wealth. So we would always advise for tax reasons that we’ve got a separation of an investment business from a trading business.
So this is a company to hold collective family investments, if it were, just for, you know, one or two individuals, wealth, for that, any wealth transfer planning, then you would have a personal investment company. So this is very specifically, a long-term investment vehicle used for succession planning.
It enables provision to be made for the next generation, with control in place. So controlled succession is often for financial education of the next generation, you know, typically non-tax reasons, but it’s part of an estate planning process, for our clients when they’ve had a liquidity event, a FIC itself is typically a UK private limited company.
It can be unlimited if there’s a low risk investment strategy, and if the client has privacy concerns, we much prefer the limited and if they’re willing to take the risk, the personal risk and having an unlimited company, then it can work. And as for the structure of the FIC itself. There’s normally alphabet shares. You’ve got one or two or more classes of shares. The founder can retain voting rights or they can be diluted amongst the shareholders.
And we would go through all of these considerations, at the outset of the planning to make sure the client’s objectives are met, the structure is tax efficient, and this then translates into the corporate documents.
Russ Haworth: And to build on that a little bit more, it would be, I think, useful to use a scenario. So if we take an example, perhaps where a mother and father have sold their family business, they’ve released a substantial amount of cash for let’s say, 20 million pounds. What would their motivations be for establishing a FIC rather than perhaps holding onto that cash or just gifting it outright?
What would they be thinking in that scenario?
Helen Clarke: So, it’s a pretty momentous occasion for them. They’ve probably worked their whole life building up, the wealth and the company, and then they sell it. So they’re moving from being a business family, to an investment family. And they will be considering their own financial needs going forward, possibly in retirement.
But they’ll also be looking at estate planning for children. You know, they have surplus cash they will be mindful of the needs of the next generation they will want to provide for them all the FIC offers as well as enabling inheritance tax mitigation is really controlled wealth transfer planning.
In most cases that we see clients do not simply want to hand over, large capital sums without any control. Children might be financially mature. They may not be at the right stage in life when they can assume responsibility of managing large sums of money. They may not yet be married.
Parents might be concerned about passing over wealth and then, with divorce or relationship breakdown, the monies might be vulnerable in any financial settlement. So it’s typically coupled with it’s looking at the assets, what are the client’s needs? What are the needs of their children? Do they want to start transferring wealth and is control an important aspect for them?
With the use of trusts, you have relevant property charges for tax and so, if you don’t have a relief, you are limited as to what you can put into a trust, whereas with a FIC you are unlimited in that respect. So it does provide a very flexible vehicle for controlled wealth transfer planning.
Russ Haworth: And diving into that a little bit deeper.
If, if we assume this, parents have set up the FIC and you mentioned before about the use of alphabet shares to help, with the control within there, how do they function within a FIC? If you can give an again, an example of. Say mum and dad with two kids. how would alphabet shares, help in that situation?
How do Alphabet Shares work?
Helen Clarke: Say, for example, , if they overriding concern was to retain control, and if they decided that they wanted to retain the voting shares, parents might have half say an, ‘A’ ordinary show with voting rights. The children would then have cascading down alphabet shares, B, C, D, etc.
You may even have a ‘G’ share for grandchildren that could be held in a trust for them. And then the alphabet shares, the reasons for having them is that say the flow of income can be controlled depending on the individual needs of the children. So, the directors have that control directors typically being, parents and to say, if one child has a particular need and there are distributable profits, that child can be benefited without having to apply similar dividends for the other children say, just give some flexibility.
Russ Haworth: So, for example, parents could have share class ‘A’ that would have the voting rights on how and what happens within the FIC.
You could have child one with a B class and child two with a C class, and they can have different benefits depending on their own needs within that.
Helen Clarke: Absolutely. Yes. Yeah. And also if parents perceive that there is a say medium term need for capital possibly by one of the children and they, want that need to be met out of the FIC then some redeemable preference shares can be issued to the children because they can be cashed at par value, say no capital gains tax.
So again, it’s part of the initial exercise in working out what the needs of everybody is, and what to put into the FIC and then how to structure the shares to meet those needs.
Russ Haworth: once the money has gone into the FIC, what happens to it? Presumably there, there is then a strategy that needs to be applied to suit the needs of those, shareholders.
What happens to the money within the Family Investment Company?
Helen Clarke: Yeah, absolutely. So it’s no different from any other company then the directors would take investment advice, they would typically invest using a discretionary fund manager and a broad portfolio that’s going to meet the needs of the shareholders, managing any risks. And they would also want to benefit from the tax free dividend receipt typically within the companies. So that there’s the benefits of gross roll-up, but otherwise the company administration, compliance won’t be any different to any other company.
And the directors annually probably will assess the distributable profits and decide whether to declare dividends.
Russ Haworth: Given that the structure is, a company structure, presumably there’s a degree of familiarity with how it operates the parents that have been running a business for years already.
It’s very familiar in that sense. It’s just the underlying is an investment company rather than a trading company, is that right?
Helen Clarke: Absolutely, the asset base is different, but absolutely that, you know, a FIC as just a UK limited or unlimited company, it’s exactly what they’re used to procedurally, administratively, and hence why business owners feel comfortable with the structure because they know it, they like it. They understand it.
Russ Haworth: One difference between say, setting up a company and then setting up a FIC as a vehicle for it is a company would generally you start, if you’re starting from scratch, you know, you start from zero, you might say, well, let’s have 50:50 shares, and the governance structure at that stage is relatively unsophisticated.
You might have a shareholders agreement, but unlikely at this stage on a, on a startup business. But if you compare that to a FIC, I’m assuming that there needs to be far more in the way of governance and the discussions around what it’s for and why it’s suitable before you even go down the route of really going too far towards when it’s happening.
Helen Clarke: No, absolutely. I mean the whole point of a FIC, really, as a succession planning vehicle is the control over the capital. So whilst the shares are owned outright by the beneficiary, the control is all, is all held in the shareholders agreement and the Articles of Association because they need to be bespoke, drafted to fit the client’s particular needs and to, cover such things as transfer restrictions on death, divorce, bankruptcy. So for example, on divorce, the FIC is very robust as long as the constitutional documents are well drafted, they should provide that, shares can’t be transferred out of the bloodline. So, for example, they can’t be transferred to a spouse on divorce if you don’t have the well drafted, constitutional documents, then it’s going back to what you said, you’ve got a simple company structure without the protections.
So, yes you have an investment company, but you don’t have any control in place for the children who you are gifting to, which makes the structure vulnerable. If one of them died, divorced, etc. because then how do you buy out the interest of the spouse has been divorced or, you know, the widow of a shareholder who has died.
When should you start considering a Family Investment Company?
Russ Haworth: And looking at it from a perspective of when a FIC would be considered and it is it’s one option and there’s various, benefits to it, but there’s also rules and regulations that need to be adhered to and reasons why people may not want it to go down the route, but at what stage should they start thinking maybe we’ll start looking at this.
Presumably it’s during discussions around what’s going to happen to the business as part of a succession plan. But again, is that a fair assumption?
Helen Clarke: yes, absolutely. So the whole exercise that you’d go through with your clients and we’d go through, from a legal perspective is, you know, looking at what is going to happen to the vehicle, will it be transferred?
Will it be sold. And then, you know, part of that is if it is going to be sold, what planning, if any, should be done before sale and what is going to be done after sale. And so it forms part of the same conversation really.
Russ Haworth: The scenario we we outlined at the beginning was the sum of 20 million pounds.
What sort of level should families be looking at this because it is a complex structure rather than it being just an outright investment or an outright gift or something like that? Is 20 million reasonable? What sort of level would families need to start looking at this as an alternative?
Helen Clarke: Well, there’s no hard and fast rule, but our sort of unwritten rule is that it only really comes into its own if the client has surplus liquid assets, ideally have 2 million pounds to put in to the company. So if we assume that it’s surplus, they therefore have to have enough assets outside of the company to maintain themselves comfortably for the rest of their lives.
Unless they’re wanting to fund the company with a loan and to be able to draw down the loan. But in that case, the loan is still part of their estate for inheritance tax. So it really depends what their motivations are. When they are doing the planning. So we would explore, there are some clients who fund via a loan. for example, clients who’ve exited businesses perhaps in their forties and they want to start transfer planning for their children, but they also, you know, not at the stage in life where they are terribly concerned about inheritance tax. So they’re happy for growth value to be going to the children.
And, you know, they may consider assigning the benefit of the lane to the children or to a trust, for example, in due course, or they might capitalise the loan and then gift the shares of the children. So there’s lots that can be done, and it really depends what the client’s needs are, but we would say, ideally, you need to have assets of 2 million pounds to put into the company to make it cost effective to set up and run.
Cash is preferable because there’s no, there are no tax implications. We can work with other assets, there is often a tax cost in doing so.
Russ Haworth: Again, using the scenario, we, we started with, around the 20 million that that’s say a sale price. So over and above what they need in order to maintain their lifestyle, let’s assume that they have 10 million pounds to, to put into to the FIC.
For the next generation in that scenario, whilst they would have grown up around that business and the business was success for them would have provided them with a lifestyle. It may also be the first time that they’ve actually come across 10 million pounds in cash, if you like it as an establishment for, for this, FIC. And that, that can be quite an intimidating prospect.
And all of a sudden they’re potentially directors in a business where there’s a lot of money at stake. Probably because they didn’t want to take on the family business. And the right thing to do was to sell that family business. So what can the next gen do, or what can parents do to help the next gen with that type of responsibility?
What can parents do to help prepare the ‘next gen’?
Helen Clarke: Typically what we see, I mean, there’s normally a long timeline before parents would want children to take over as directors. And in some cases they don’t want them to take over as directors because they don’t want the children to have the control. but it is an education process so typically, the founders would arrange the education.
For example, with the investments, with whoever was going to be running the investment mandate. So the children are educated over a period of time, that may even be sort of 10 years before they might take more control. We. Can, hold sort of educational sessions, that would be me and our corporate law team alongside the investment manager, just to familiarise the children with the structure, to answer any questions that they’ve got and just to get to know them and to get the informal support really that they might need.
Russ Haworth: we talked about them taking over control, not, not being the primary objective. The primary objective generally is for parents to be able to retain some of that control because the kids might not be at a stage. I say kids, they could very well be adults, but they might still be at the stage at which they, want to retain that control, but that, that will change at some point because, death and taxes are the two inevitable things in life.
What are some of the what-ifs? And if we look at death as a starting point, what happens on death within the FIC? So say one of the parents were to pass on, how would that impact the FIC?
How does death impact a Family Investment Company?
Helen Clarke: If there was a surviving director, then the articles and shareholders agreement would, well, the articles would provide, what happens with regard to the appointment of the new director?
The issue with that, where the child was a child being a director, is that if they then have significant control over the shares, a divorce court, for example, might say that, they are able to transfer capital outside of the company. So hence why, in some circumstances, clients would, want non-family members to be directors, whether it or other family members, but outside of the shareholders of the FIC.
But that would be covered in the articles. So it’s something that we would discuss with our corporate team at the time with the clients to work out a solution. if the parents were a shareholder, then the shareholder’s agreement would contain, share, transfer rights, they would, determine what’s going to happen basically on the death of a shareholder.
so it’s a preexisting contract and then the will of the shareholder should mirror the terms of the transfer agreements in the, constitutional documents so that there is no conflict.
How important is governance when it comes to a Family Investment Company?
Russ Haworth: And so what I’m hearing there in terms of, the sort of governance structure of these FICs is that, as we would recommend with any family business, that the governance can often be informal at outset as we’ve touched on before.
But I guess what we’re saying here is make sure all of that governance is absolutely rock solid before you go down this route so that you understand what’s going to happen and how it impacts on things like that.
Helen Clarke: Absolutely, and because all of the shareholders, the parties to the shareholders agreement, it really should be negotiated well at the outset.
And then they sign, accepting the rights that are associated with their shares and then it avoids awful scenarios whereby it wasn’t addressed, it gets forgotten about. So you’ve got a sudden incapacity or death of a director or, you know, controlling shareholder say it really is, you know, it’s just a false economy, not to deal with it properly at the time to make sure that it is going to achieve all of their objectives.
Russ Haworth: Presumably doing it, reactively rather than proactively is, far more costly, far more painful.
Helen Clarke: And you’re totally exposed, because if a child is already going through divorce proceedings, for example, it gets into sort of, you know, muddy waters there. And as to whether it’s, you know, what is being done and why is it being done?
So really you need to give proper thought to this at the very beginning.
Russ Haworth : And again, I’m banging the governance drum here, but, I think it’s such an important subject matter to, to ensure it’s covered that there’s the formal governance, the legal structure and the legal agreements, the shareholders agreements, and the articles, et cetera, that go alongside that.
But, but coupled with that, do you see families having a family governance discussion as well around, you know, what the intention is from a sort of same as you’d have a family charter within a family owned business. Do you see those within FICs as well?
Helen Clarke: Yes, we absolutely do, and in fact, you know, it forms a key part for a lot of clients because it’s, it’s sort of outside of a legal document, but it enables them to really express why they’re creating it, what their vision is for the future and how they would like it to be continued when they have gone. so I think it’s a very powerful document and it helps form. It helps form all of the, the objectives to then sort of put it into the legal structure for the clients.
Russ Haworth: so again, taking that example, of the parents that sold the business, they might have a sit down chat with, with their two children and say, what do we, as a family want this, FIC to represent?
Who do we want to consider as family? Who do we want this? What, what rules do we want to happen on? You know, death, divorce, that’s then articulated into the legal structure and mirrored across
Helen Clarke: I was going. to say it’s an incredibly valuable discussion.
And then it’s, it’s an amazing working document throughout basically, that guides where we are going in the process and clients feel comfortable having it because it’s, you know, they are able to basically it’s all of their input.
How is the income from a Family Investment Company generated?
Russ Haworth: you mentioned that the, income, if you like an inverted commas from the FIC is derived from profits effectively.
So assuming that the investment performance has been positive, what sort of. provisions exist for if there’s a negative period of return, which it can often be in the short term, what happens if there is no profit as such to be able to distribute a distributed?
Helen Clarke: You can’t, you can only, you can only pay dividends to the extent that there is distributable profit.
Russ Haworth: So that, that highlight there is an element of risk to this that it’s not. You know, it’s not, not a way of just, putting money into a company vehicle and, and, benefiting from that structure.
Helen Clarke: You can’t assume, but the same with any investment portfolio, whether it’s inside or outside a company that, We’ve seen what’s happened this year, I guess.
So we know that it can happen, but yes, you can only pay a dividend. And therefore going back to the redeemable preference shares because you can only declare a dividend if you’ve got distributable profit, if a family member shareholder had had a need, whether it’s for income or capital that needed to be met, a financial need, then the redeemable preference shares would enable the directors to agree for some, to be cashed, to provide monies for that shareholder.
Russ Haworth: And, we keep going over this point, but I think it’s an important point to keep going over is, is about the consideration before going into a FIC, this isn’t a short term solution either.
Is it it’s something that, that you would anticipate to be around for many years?
Helen Clarke: Yeah, it’s, it’s a longterm solution, really, you know, it’s if you’re putting it in place with a view that it’s only going to be going for a few years, then don’t contemplate it. because then you, you know, it’s just not going to be tax efficient.
There’s gonna be a lot of work involved winding it up basically. So, you know, it needs to be, if you’re looking for a solution that might, you know, sort of 10/20 years, depending on the age of the children and grandchildren and you know, what you’re looking to achieve. and actually a lot of parents are like the thought that their children, as they are educated and become comfortable with the monies might then take, you know, in due course an active role in managing and that it is a business, a fund for them going forward that will provide for them and their families.
Russ Haworth: And utilising the share structure allows that to be passed from generation to generation. It’s not, not on a one generation thing?
Helen Clarke: Yeah, there’s share transfer rights that would enable shares on death to transfer to, the next in the bloodline that descendants, if the founder wanted to have a share, say a ‘G’ share for grandchildren who were as yet unborn, then typically a trust would sit alongside the FIC and the trusts would then purchase the ‘G’ share from the FAC said that know can be available for them in future.
What happens to a Family Investment Company on divorce?
Russ Haworth: We’ve mentioned, some of the consequences on, on death and, the key to being able to cope with that within the FIC is, is strong governance and good, legal governance around that.
What happens in the event let’s assume all of that has been done at outset. So we’ve been very proactive and it’s all been done at, at the beginning. with very good planning. What happens on divorce. If say one of the children in our scenario then gets divorced, a few years down the line.
Helen Clarke: Yeah. So as long as there has been no, wrongful doing, there’s been no fraud in the company, you know, they’ve played by the rules, then they divorced court, went past the corporate veil, whereas I’m told by our train, your partner that they will just trample through a Trust. So, a FIC actually provides a robust vehicle for asset protection. So whilst the court, assuming we’ve got all of those restrictions in place that we talked about, can’t, basically touch the capital of the shares.
It will just assess the income of the shares as part of the matrimonial settlement. So what you’re doing is protecting the capital, but then the income that that shareholder has been deriving from the share will be assessable as part of the matrimonial settlement
Russ Haworth: Going back to the governance argument, do you include, non-family in the discussions around those sorts of governance structures that letting them know at outset that this is something that’s exists, this is how it operates, it’s for bloodline only as is that as a sort of conversation that can happen with, spouses or potential spouses of family members?
Helen Clarke: Clients typically don’t like to have that conversations with other family members. In my experience, it’s more just their team of advisors. But what it does do is because the company documents require and restrict transfer, to spouses, and they require a shareholder typically to enter into a prenup, before a marriage.
Or a post-nup if they’re already married, then what it does is it takes away a lot of the anxiety around the conversation of the child who is marrying or married and wanting to accept these shares because it’s not them saying to their spouse or, you know, spouse to be, I want to enter into a prenup. It’s saying that, you know, my parents want to transfer this wealth to me.
It’s incredible. But, the constitutional documents require that all of the shareholders have a prenup or post-nup agreement. So I think it makes it easier for that conversation to be had because it is, you know, it’s not, it’s not a conversation that people want to enter into at the time they’re getting married.
But actually if it, if it’s just a requirement that’s imposed under the constitutional documents, It lessens the anxiety and having the conversation. Now, obviously it’s different if they’ve been married for 20, 30 years and they’ve got children and it’s a very different position. The founder might take a different view then, but again, each case is just, unique on its facts.
Can you sell a Family Investment Company?
Russ Haworth: Looking at it from a perspective of if. If this has come about as a result of the sale of a business, that there’s been an exit event or, you know, liquidity event in that respect there. Can the same, be mirrored within the FIC. So can the shareholders get to a point where they decide actually the right thing to do now is to, sell the business?
How, how does that function? Because it’s not a trading business, so how would that operate going forward?
Helen Clarke: It’s not a trading business, but same principles apply as they’re applied to any business. So if they want to sell down all of the assets, they would do say. Pay corporation tax on the profits, and then there would need to go through a company windup.
Russ Haworth : presumably that’s not as straightforward as it would be to sell shares and trading business because it’s, there’s less of a market or perhaps no market for that. So again, something to go into only when you’re really
Helen Clarke: Yeah. hence the long-term need, but it’s basically now they can sell down all of the investments and pay the tax on the profits, but then they’ve got to get all of that money out of the company without any tax reliefs.
And then you’ve got to wind up the company. So hence don’t go into it unless this is really what you want to do. And you’ve got a clear vision for the next 10 plus years, probably. if you think that there may be large, significant capital need then ring fence, that amount outside of a company structure.
Russ Haworth: In that scenario where they’ve perhaps sold all the assets down and taken the cash out that. Something has to happen to that. Doesn’t it. It’s not, that’s not magically now out of any estate. It’s more so.
Helen Clarke: It doesn’t really achieve much, to be honest, you know, if you’re entering into it for asset protection for inheritance tax planning, So it makes more sense to keep it in the structure.
Russ Haworth: This is a company structure. It’s a legal structure that is accepted by HMRC. It’s not something that is, you know, using a dodgy tax loophole or anything like that. I know you can never be certain with anything in terms of tax and when things change. And we would always suggest people take professional tax and legal advice when they’re considering these things.
But this is an accepted, form of a company structure?
Is a Family Investment Company accepted by HMRC?
Helen Clarke: you know, there are pitfall. HMRC did a request for information probably almost a year ago. And HMRC did say that they were looking at FICs, but in respect of FICs in excess of £20 million and typically family office type structures.
And from what we understand, HMRC are looking at those whereby individuals / founders have created these structures and they haven’t understood the tax implications from say an inheritance tax, capital gains tax perspective that apply. And therefore there has been a failure to report when tax events have occurred.
And that is what HMRC are looking at. So it all goes down to, you know, it is just standard PET from an Inheritance tax purposes, you make a gift, you don’t retain an interest in it. you live for seven years, that asset is then in the estate of the donee. but it’s all just around the structuring of it to make sure that you’re not doing anything that could expose the structure.
Russ Haworth: And I, I think what that does is it highlights the importance of taking, professional advice on that and not entering into this as something that’s seen as a quick win or a good way to deal with things after the event.
Helen Clarke: You’ll be creating a big problem, which will, they’ll probably be a big tax costs to sort out and we have seen some of those.
Russ Haworth: So in summary on, on that point then is we’ve mentioned it earlier on in our chat as well is to, to start this planning early so that you can consider all of the options that are available, make sure that it’s right. And it fits in with what it is that you’re trying to achieve as a family.
And that discussions are held amongst the family to ensure that everyone’s aware of, of what it means to couple that perhaps with some family governance, which is not the legally binding stuff, but the kind of morally binding, if you like where the family had the discussions about the stuff that might not necessarily fit into the legal structure, get that as robust as possible as well before you actually then go and press the button to say, we’re going to set this thing up because at that stage, it’s probably too late to, if something goes wrong, you’ve, you’ve put the money into the FIC. Would that be fair?
Helen Clarke: Yeah, absolutely. And again, we have seen cases where clients have just created a company, put the money in and then latterly come and say, I’ve done this, but this is what I meant to do, and then it is just more of a nightmare to sort out, you know, it might take a year for us to set one up, you know, and you could look at it and think, well, I could create a company with company’s house and you know, a week or whatever. it’s all, it’s all of the planning that takes the time. It’s all of the planning and the careful planning.
Russ Haworth: And if something’s worth doing it’s worth doing right, isn’t it. So if this is something that’s, long-term, it’s going to be of benefit to the family overall for a longer period of time. And again, when we’ve made the assumption that they’ve, they’ve gone through the bit where they go, this is suitable for us, because there will be circumstances where it’s not necessarily suitable.
But, that they’ve gone through that stage and taken the time and been careful with how it’s then constructed and, the legal structure around it is all, robust, that’s worth doing well because otherwise the consequences are far more expensive than doing it right at outset.
Helen Clarke: Yeah, absolutely.
Russ Haworth: I’m going to put you on the spot now and say, what one tip would you give to families who are perhaps looking at this going? I think this might be a good idea for us. We want to look into a bit more, where should they start in doing that?
Helen Clarke: It’s a big fact-finding exercise.
So, I would always start with the client. We would spend a lot of time discussing it so that I understand their objectives because I’m not just going to look at a FIC in isolation. So, it’s really wanting to understand their financial position, their objectives, you know, the goals for the whole family going forward.
So, I think it’s really vital that you spend the time with clients to go through that.
Russ Haworth: And where can our audience find out more about you Helen?
Helen Clarke: I am on Irwin Mitchell’s website, London partner, tax trusts and estate, or on LinkedIn.
Russ Haworth: Fantastic. And we will put links to that in our show notes so that people can find if they’re, on the webpage, it can, you can just click on the link directly there.
Thank you very much for your time and your insights. It’s been a fascinating chat and, and an area of great interest. So thank you for sharing.
Helen Clarke: My pleasure. Thank you.