Politics, emigration and the modern family are only a few of the challenges of wealth and succession planning today
There is no lack of data on the vast, and growing, amounts of wealth set to be passed from generation to generation in the coming decades. In 2019, the global number of dollar millionaires passes 20m while, over the next five years, the number of ultra-high
In the UK, while we enjoy a moment of respite from daily Brexit headlines, the immediate panic around the UK’s future relationship with the EU has given way to discussions over the next leader of the Conservatives, as local election results confirm a widespread disenchantment with the main political parties. Were Labour to come to power, some of the suggested reforms don’t bode especially well for wealth and succession planning; tax at 45% on income of £80,000 or more and at 50% on income of at least £123,000; an excess levy on salaries above £330,000; and an increase corporation tax to 26% are among the changes floated since the 2017 party manifesto. However, there can be no certainty that the existing tax regime would remain stable even under Conservative leadership. Meanwhile, in Europe, the rise of populism seems to threaten the integrity of the European Union, and global market confidence isn’t helped by the US’ international agenda or expectations of a cyclical slow down over the next couple of years.
But uncertainty isn’t a phase; rather, it is a fact of life
Some of the diﬃculty lies in the fact that wealth advice, perhaps with the exception of larger multi-national advisory outfits, has grown from a domestic focus. While it is only natural that tax and other eﬃciencies at home be considered first, this should not be to the exclusion of foreign issues or at the expense of ultimately needing to wind down and replace planning structures on a change of residence. Similarly, wealth structures
Add to this the intricacies of modern family life, which is punctuated by the uncertain and unexpected – separations, divorces, marriages, births, deaths and remarriages, and the resulting extended families held together by formal or informalties–and consider that the nature of family relationships evolve, with individuals falling in and out of favour with each other over time. A long-term wealth and succession plan should remain relevant despite these changing circumstances.