Peter Legg (Money Marketing, last week) brought back memories of my schooldays trying to cram the poetry of Alexander Pope.“A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.” Peter forecasts the end of standard tax avoidance options, including poten-tially exempt transfers, and then advocates trusts as “the perfect, flexible solution for estate planning”. If the use of trusts is not a standard tax-avoidance option, then I do not know what is. Why are trusts effective in inheritance tax planning? Because a gift to trust is a transfer, either potentially exempt or chargeable. Abolition of the potentially exempt transfer would therefore hit trust-based planning. However, the statement: “Critically, a trust can be broken at any time, providing the flexibility required for an evolving estate planning strategy” caused me most concern. It is comments like this which prevent advisers gaining and maintaining the respect of their fellow professionals – solicitors and accountants. Trusts cannot be broken at any time. There may be occasions when the effect of a transfer to trust can be negated but these will be few and far between. Trusts establish legal entitlements and beneficiaries who lose out in trust-busting exercises, successful or otherwise, may well be tempted to sue the trustees and their advisers. Peter’s final paragraph encapsulates a sensible approach to estate planning. It must surely follow from his remarks that the perfect solution does not exist. Let us examine all the options available and determine which one (or more) meets the client’s needs. Gerry BrownTechnical manager, Scottish Life International, Edinburgh
Sesame is appointing Paul Rignall as its mortgage product manager, joining from St James’s Place where he was the mortgage marketing manager. Rignall replaces Andy Young who left for TBMC in April 2005. Rignall was responsible for the mortgage and general insurance proposition at SJP. Prior to this, he held several roles at Zurich.He will […]
In all our deliberations about special situations, the most successful UK investment fund of the past 25 years, our primary objective has been as clear as it has been constant – how might we best serve the interests of the existing 250,000 shareholders and create the optimum conditions to continue its long-term performance.
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Jelf Employee Benefits focuses on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and what this means for businesses with operations in West Africa. This will be of particular interest to those with employees either travelling to, or living within, West Africa, the area affected by the most catastrophic outbreak of Ebola to date.
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