About us

This section will cover different aspects of how we work with our clients to resolve their inheritance tax problems.

This page explains our IHT services and how we work with our clients

Our IHT Planning
Systems

We work with people who expect their Estates on the death of both partners to reach in excess of £1 million.

  • We apply a holistic approach to estate and tax planning – treating all aspects of your financial life as part of a connected plan – recognising the connections and where possible, finding solutions that deal with more than just a single issue.
  • We provide you with a comprehensive plan to eliminate your inheritance tax and reduce other taxes. We recommend our high-quality partner Lawyers and Tax Advisers for any specialist work required to implement your plan.

We offer comprehensive tax planning service suitable for most clients.

  • We offer a review of your overall tax position to establish how best you can rearrange your financial affairs to avoid as much tax as possible.
  • We work together with a number of highly qualified tax accountants and tax Lawyers to provide tax solutions for people who have generated high potential liabilities in most types of tax, including corporation tax.
  • The service aims to reduce your overall tax liability by the use of both straightforward and more complex tax planning advice.

Advanced Tax Planning
System

Advanced Tax Planning
System

We offer comprehensive tax planning service suitable for most clients.

  • We offer a review of your overall tax position to establish how best you can rearrange your financial affairs to avoid as much tax as possible.
  • We work together with a number of highly qualified tax accountants and tax Lawyers to provide tax solutions for people who have generated high potential liabilities in most types of tax, including corporation tax.
  • The service aims to reduce your overall tax liability by the use of both straightforward and more complex tax planning advice.

Inheritance Tax Elimination Process

After providing you with our advice, we will help you implement all aspects of your plan that you wish to progress with.

  • Any regulated financial advice will not be provided by Bluebond but by a recommended FCA regulated company.
  • The legal work is done by our recommended Lawyers.
  • Specialist tax work like setting up Family Investment Companies and Employee Benefit Trusts are carried out by our recommended tax accountants.

How we work FAQ

What is special about your services?

The following are points we consider most important:

  • The emphasis we place on life planning for the future and regularly reviewing your situation.

  • Our long-term approach to client relationships – you will always deal with the same Adviser unless you agree to a change.

  • High quality staff to ensure a higher than usual level of service – we are prepared to accept a lower profit margin to achieve this.

  • A highly structured approach to the way we carry out any analytical work on your behalf.

  • Early adoption of the latest technology and approaches to business systems – we have developed our own unique computer software tools to help us ensure you receive an efficient and effective service.

  • Our range of skills and experience – our Advisers have more than 20 years’ experience in the tax planning profession.

  • Our programme of continuous professional development and determination to be competent, reliable, proactive and helpful.

  • All our fees are pre-agreed with you so you know exactly what it will cost you before we start working on your behalf.

  • Our quality of service guarantee.

What are the differences in your approach?

The differences in the Bluebond approach are:

  • We will fully discuss all payment options with you at our first meeting.

  • Our role is that of trusted Adviser and not financial product salesperson.

  • We create long-term relationships with our clients to enable us to offer comprehensive and integrated help and guidance without bias.

The results of poor advice can be far more costly than the fees we charge.

How will your services benefit me?

We recognise that people care most about legally avoiding tax as quickly and safely as possible without wasting money along the way.

  • We help you implement your inheritance tax and estate planning as simply and securely as possible.

  • We help you recognise and reduce the inherent risks in a way which considerably improves the likelihood of your success.

  • We help you do this by selecting and implementing the most appropriate strategies for you.

Why should I pay the fixed fee?

Despite what many would have you believe, there is no such thing as “free” advice. As is the case with most things in life, you get what you pay for. A fixed fee quoted to you in advance of work being carried out gives you the peace of mind that you know exactly what you will get for your money in advance of proceeding. Hourly rate charging does not give you this benefit.

What sort of guarantee do I have on the quality of your services?

Firstly we would like to point out that it is very rare to get any sort of service guarantee from a professional services company.

We want you to be delighted with the work we do for you. We are therefore pleased to offer you an unconditional service guarantee. If our service falls short of your expectations for any individual transaction, we will refund any amount that you consider to be appropriate, up to the total fee for that transaction, irrespective of our views.

How much time will be needed to resolve my IHT problems?

As an individual client, once the initial series of meetings is concluded, we may require as little as one meeting each year. If you are a retired client, meetings every 3 years may be all that is necessary. We ensure that every client is treated individually and we will set up a suitable number of review meetings to ensure you meet your goals and objectives.

What areas of the country do you cover?

As we conduct most of our meetings online, we cover all areas of the country.

For clients who are not highly computer literate, this may sound daunting at first.  However, it is as simple as opening an email and click on a link to be connected. Once clients have used Zoom online meetings once they are normally happy to continuing receiving advice this way. It is so simple and convenient never having to leave home. All is required is that you have a good broadband connection and we will help sort out the rest.

If you would prefer a face to face meeting we are happy to meet with you at our offices in Wheathampstead near St Albans ( AL4 8FE). We can, of course, meet clients at their homes if required, but to ensure we treat all clients fairly, we will have to charge our travelling time at £150 per hour.

How do I find out more?

As we conduct nearly all of our meetings online using the video conferencing app Zoom, we cover all areas of the country.

Zoom is so simple and convenient as you never have to leave home. It enables us to discuss points “face to face” and using screen sharing I can show you and talk you through documents and diagrams as if we were in the same room.

All is required is that you have a good broadband connection, and we will help sort out the rest.

For clients who have not used Zoom before, this may sound daunting at first. However, it is as simple as opening an email and clicking on a link to be connected. Once clients have used Zoom once they are happy to continue receiving advice this way.

If you would prefer a face-to-face meeting in person we are happy to meet with you at our offices in Wheathampstead near St Albans (AL4 8FE). We can, of course, meet clients at their homes if required, but to ensure we treat all clients fairly, we will have to charge for travelling time.

How We Work with You

We act with integrity, honesty and openness in everything we do for and with you.

We respect the confidentiality of our working relationship.

We provide you with unbiased, comprehensive, independent financial advice.

We meet the deadlines we set.

Find out more about the people behind Bluebond

Charles de Lastic

Managing Director

My Purpose – I inspire, help and coach people to live happier more productive lives.

I use this purpose statement to help ensure I make the right decisions and take the right actions.

My Purpose

My Purpose – I inspire, help and coach people to live happier more productive lives.
Putting it up here encourages me and everyone I engage with to hold me accountable for this statement. It took a while for me to pluck up the courage to place such a bold statement on this and other websites but now it’s done it pushes me to achieve my purpose.

  • Why inspire? – It reminds me to set and achieve high standards.

  • Why help? – It reminds me to be active and “hands on.”

  • Why coach? – It’s effective in helping people to succeed

  • Why happier? – It’s a fundamental driver for everyone.

  • Why productive? – Being productive means creating as much value in the world as efficiently and effectively as possible.

My Background

My name is Charles de Lastic, and at the time of updating this in 2018, I am 62 years old. I live in the sleepy village of Wheathampstead in Hertfordshire, England with my wife and long-term partner of 23 years Heather. Heather and I met at Salsa dancing classes, and she is, without a doubt, one of the most organised people in the world – we make a great team. Our daughter, Kirsten, is a primary school teacher who lives with her boyfriend Sam who is a PE teacher.

My father died when I was very young. My mother Rita (87 this year) is living on the Gold Coast in Australia and playing a lot of golf. My two brothers – Robert lives in Australia in the same town as my mother, and Peter lives in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.I love to ski (downhill on snow), any form of water sport (especially kite surfing) take lots of interesting holidays (as you can tell by the tan in the photo above) and have meals out with friends.

At age 18 I started work in the equities department for the Queens Bank Coutts and Co in the city of London. After a few years, I decided I preferred working more with people and joined Sainsbury’s, rising to become a deputy store manager. This role gave me a solid foundation in business operations, systems and team management.

I “semi-retired at 31” to run my own business – a bar and restaurant on the Greek island of Lefkas. For seven years most of my summer days were spent windsurfing and evenings working in the bar. In the winters I indulged my passion for skiing and worked as a holiday rep in the French Alps for Thomsons and Inghams.

Eventually, I decided I was getting a bit long in the tooth for that hedonistic lifestyle, so I returned to the UK and trained to become a financial adviser with Lloyds Bank and then Barclays Bank. At Barclays, I worked mainly with business owners as clients.About 17 years ago we set up Bluebond as a separate consultancy business as a specialist in Inheritance Tax and Estate planning. We help the wealthy retired, investment property owners and business owners with their tax planning

Why I founded Bluebond Tax Planning

After a few years working as a financial adviser mainly with business owners and professionals like doctors, dentists, accountants etc I found the most value I was bringing to clients was in the area of Inheritance tax advice as the savings when done properly can be huge. I felt there was a gap in the market as solicitors understand the legal side, accountants understand the tax side, and financial advisers understand financial products but almost no one has trained in all 3 areas in depth. I decided to train myself across all 3 areas and have spent the last 16 years advising clients in this specialist area.

My specialist knowledge across legal advice, tax advice and the financial products which impact on IHT is what makes Bluebond such a valuable resource to people with Inheritance tax problems.

My perspective is to help clients legally mitigate all taxes as I see no point in avoiding inheritance tax only to pay more income tax or Capital gains tax. Due to the complexity of Tax planning, I often find that just a few slight changes to the way people hold and deal with their assets can save considerable amounts in Tax over the years.

As Heather and I have also invested in our own property portfolio since 2005 I am also able to help Landlords in their tax planning as invariably professional landlords also have a large IHT problem as well.

Enjoy the journey
Charles

My Purpose
My Background
Why I founded Bluebond Tax Planning

Heather de Lastic

Finance Director

Heather has worked in the company since 1999. As well as working with our clients, she is the Finance and Operations Manager and so manages the accounts and all the operations for the company. It is often remarked on by our suppliers, that she is amazingly organised with a huge capacity for just getting things done.

She ensures that everything involved in running a busy company runs smoothly, to ensure our client team is able to concentrate on high levels of client service.

Heather enjoys very strong family relationships. She is fond of travel and shopping in all its many forms – she has a reputation for finding the best bargains out there.

She lives with Charles and their Cockerpoo, Chester at their home in Wheathampstead.

Heather has worked in the company since 1999. As well as working with our clients, she is the Finance and Operations Manager and so manages the accounts and all the operations for the company. It is often remarked on by our suppliers, that she is amazingly organised with a huge capacity for just getting things done.

She ensures that everything involved in running a busy company runs smoothly, to ensure our client team is able to concentrate on high levels of client service.

Heather enjoys very strong family relationships. She is fond of travel and shopping in all its many forms – she has a reputation for finding the best bargains out there.

She lives with Charles and their Cockerpoo, Chester at their home in Wheathampstead.

Heather de Lastic

Finance Director

Caryn Hood

Client Relationship Manager

Caryn previously worked for IBM, Lloyds Bank and a specialist Trust provider. This experience has given her a wide knowledge of companies and systems management. She previously worked with us for many years rising to become our Office Manager.

She left to work in her own business and decided to return to work with us in 2016 on a part-time basis. Once again, she proved we made the right decision to rehire her, as she is now an intrinsic part of our team. Caryn has an amazing eye for detail and ensures that all our client cases are implemented to an excellent level.

She helps ensure all our clients get a high level of quality service they would expect. She, and the rest of our team, make sure the administration of plans are kept up to date and processed smoothly.

She lives in Harpenden with her partner Luke.

Sona Pitchard

Client Relationship Manager

Sona joined us in October 2018 after a successful career with Aviva during which time she passed 5 financial advice exams. She has a keen interest in the financial services industry and is always looking for ways to streamline our processes for maximum effectiveness.

She works as a Customer Relationship Manager, making sure all our customers receive the best quality of service possible. Sona’s in-depth level of knowledge of personal financial plans, gained from years of experience working in this area, means that most of her work involves researching and implementing new financial plans for clients.

She lives in Hemel Hempstead with her two children and husband.

Sona joined us in October 2018 after a successful career with Aviva during which time she passed 5 financial advice exams. She has a keen interest in the financial services industry and is always looking for ways to streamline our processes for maximum effectiveness.

She works as a Customer Relationship Manager, making sure all our customers receive the best quality of service possible. Sona’s in-depth level of knowledge of personal financial plans, gained from years of experience working in this area, means that most of her work involves researching and implementing new financial plans for clients.

She lives in Hemel Hempstead with her two children and husband.

Sona Pitchard

Client Relationship Manager

Lindsey Gatta

Business Development Manager

I have always had a fascination with understanding how people think and how this drives their behaviour. How can two people view the same event and have totally different responses to it?

This intrigue led me to study Psychology at university, and I graduated with a desire to continuously study and learn about the human mind and behaviour.

This led me to a career in HR where I became particularly interested in people’s behaviour and how this impacted on their work and their colleagues around them. I then trained as a Neuro-linguistic Program practitioner.

I left my career in HR to focus my time on starting and raising my young family. Having three boys in four years really put my NLP skills to the test!! My passion for NLP continued, and I began to work for myself coaching individuals. I was amazed at just how many clients I was seeing that were struggling with certain issues that were either driven by their work-life or having a significant impact on their performance at work. My understanding of psychology and NLP help me with my work as the business development and client systems development manager at Bluebond.

The journey to resolving your inheritance tax problem starts with our initial advice service.

Our initial advice package includes:

  • In depth analysis of your financial situation

  • Comprehensive Estate Planning and inheritance tax advice reports

  • Unlimited follow up Zoom meetings to answer all your questions before implementation.

All for a small fee of £397!

Once you are happy with our advice, you choose if you wish to proceed to the implementation of our recommended plans and strategies.

Fees overview for our Inheritance Tax and Planning services

Fees for implementation of our advice

Our advice reports clearly outline all fees for implementation at the outset.

Unlike some financial planners who charge by the hour, we prefer a fixed fee arrangement when working with our prospective clients. This allows you to know upfront what the cost are, which will in turn give you added peace of mind when making your decision.

All of our fees are fixed and agreed with you in advance of any work being carried out on your behalf.

The fees we charge will be insignificant compared to the amount of money we will save your family in inheritance tax. Usually, a few thousand pounds in fees results in saving hundreds of thousands in inheritance tax.

We are paid in the following ways:

  1. Planning or Advice: By charging a fee for providing detailed solutions to the issues that concern you.
  2. Implementing: By being paid fees for arranging the most appropriate solutions for you.
  3. Recommendation: By being recommended by you because we have delivered great results!

In all cases, we will ask you to pay your fees in advance by cheque or bank transfer.

  1. Planning or Advice: By charging a fee for providing detailed solutions to the issues that concern you.
  2. Implementing: By being paid fees for arranging the most appropriate solutions for you.
  3. Recommendation: By being recommended by you because we have delivered great results!

In all cases, we will ask you to pay your fees in advance by cheque or bank transfer.

We are paid in the following ways:

FAQ

What do I get for my initial fee of £397?

We collect and then clarify all of your relevant information in a very detailed fact-find.

We ascertain and clarify your needs and goals.

We develop and deliver a comprehensive Estate Planning and inheritance tax advice report.

The reports explain the advice, the reasons for the advice and the detailed fees and costs to implement the various strategies.

We hold a series of meetings to explain our advice to you in-depth.

We help you to make the most suitable decisions of which strategies you wish to implement.

If I am unhappy at any stage of the process, will I be entitled to get my £397 back?

Yes. We want the initial stage to be at a very low risk to our prospective clients. However, in 18 years no client has ever asked for a refund because even if they do not wish to proceed, they appreciate the amount of work we have put in and the value of the advice delivered.

Once I have paid my £397, what am I committed to?

You are not committed to implementing any of the advice or paying any other fees – the £397 fee is stand alone and is designed to cover the cost of my administration team.

Your initial fee of £397 seems very low – why is that?

Yes. We understand that most firms would charge around £1500 plus to get to the same point. However, the vast majority of clients who pay the initial fee actually proceed to implement some of the recommended strategies and so we are prepared to take the risk.

What are the charges for implementing Trusts and other planning?

Anything from £1000 to £30,000 depending on if your assets are £1 million or £20 million and the complexity of the planning. All fees are broken down and fully detailed in the advice reports you are provided with as part of the initial fee of £397. In the end, we quote the fees for the work we recommend you implement in advance and you decide if its value for money.

Are any charges or fees not included in the advice reports?

Yes. We advise you on everything you need to do and why but the implementation of some of the advice is carried out by specialist firms who charge separately. We may refer you to specialist Independent Financial advisers for Life insurance or investments into Trusts or Tax accountants to set up Family Investment Companies and Employee Benefit Trusts. However, all firms we introduce you to will also quote you their fees in advance.
Another benefit is that for unusual questions we can ask a specialist at no cost to you but if you were working with a Solicitor at £450 at hour getting questions answers can end up very expensive just to get to the point of understanding recommendations.

Putting together a comprehensive plan to help you with your Estate Planning and inheritance tax will involve a series of meetings and explanations of our advice.

You may be concerned about paying a high fee for advice if you are not sure that you want to progress with the implementation of any advice.

Our low initial fee of £397 removes this fear and we also offer a full money-back guarantee if you are unhappy about any aspect of our initial advice.

Your money back
satisfaction guarantee

We want to show how serious we are about our client satisfaction by “putting our money where our mouths are“.

We believe we offer amazing value for money based on the results that you will achieve by working with us. We are so confident in our programme that we offer a full money back written guarantee on your initial advice fees if you are not delighted with the results.

We want you to be delighted with the work we do for you, and are therefore pleased to offer an unconditional service guarantee on your initial fee.

If our advice service falls short of your expectations, we will refund any amount that you consider to be appropriate, up to the total fee for that transaction, irrespective of our views. – that’s a full money back guarantee!

Our Guarantee

Our Guarantee

We want you to be delighted with the work we do for you, and are therefore pleased to offer an unconditional service guarantee on your initial fee.

If our advice service falls short of your expectations, we will refund any amount that you consider to be appropriate, up to the total fee for that transaction, irrespective of our views. – that’s a full money back guarantee!

What is not included in
the guarantee

We believe most people are honest and would not claim on this guarantee unless we have fallen down on our promises. However, because the guarantee exists, we make every effort to ensure there is never a need to claim on it. This results in high-quality levels of service and to date, we have never been asked to refund any fees.

The testimonials  below are from some of our existing clients.

Click on the Google link above to see our most recent reviews.

Tony & Sue Perriss – IHT and Estate planning

I am writing to thank you for your help on our inheritance tax and estate planning. It is nice to know that we can now be certain that our daughter will inherit our money without giving a large slice of it to the government – unless we decide to spend it first.

It is also nice to know that we have effectively avoided all our inheritance tax liabilities so we can relax in our retirement.

I would also like to thank you and your team for the excellent service you have given us over the last 3 years, and I would be delighted to unreservedly recommend your company’s service.

Click on the Google link above to see our most recent reviews.

Frank Hibberd –
Retired – IHT advice

I am writing this letter to thank you and your staff for the excellent job you have done over the last few years on my inheritance tax planning.

It is gratifying to finally come across an adviser who gives sensible ongoing advice which is very client focused. In our case in particular, it is nice to know that we now have high degree of certainty on our  inheritance tax liabilities for the future.

I would also like to mention the support of your team and the friendly and efficient manner in which they deal with our affairs. If you would ever like me to make a recommendation of your firm’s services to any other clients, I would be more than happy to do so.

I am writing this letter to thank you and your staff for the excellent job you have done over the last few years on my inheritance tax planning.

It is gratifying to finally come across an adviser who gives sensible ongoing advice which is very client focused. In our case in particular, it is nice to know that we now have high degree of certainty on our  inheritance tax liabilities for the future.

I would also like to mention the support of your team and the friendly and efficient manner in which they deal with our affairs. If you would ever like me to make a recommendation of your firm’s services to any other clients, I would be more than happy to do so.

Frank Hibberd –
Retired – IHT advice

Click on the Google link above to see our most recent reviews.

D & T Pattie –
Retired Couple – IHT advice

We would like to thank you for the work you have done for us over the past years. The telephone call in the summer of 2015 inviting us to attend one of your seminars was timely as we had realised we must do something about our inheritance tax problem.

The seminar was informative and the subsequent meetings we have had with you have been excellent. We thank you for your patience in explaining things several times over as we tried to grasp and understand the intricacies of inheritance tax and how to mitigate the effect on our estate. We look forward to working with you for many years

Click on the Google link above to see our most recent reviews.

Michael Mahon –High earner recently retired

Many thanks for concluding my Trust planning this year.

I particularly want to thank you for the open and transparent manner in which you have serviced my tax planning needs since I first met you seven or so years ago. In arranging my tax planning through you, I have confidence that your advice will not be tainted by any bias. Your straightforward approach gives me confidence that you will be on “my side” when making any recommendations to me. In the past, rather than compromise on your recommendations, you have negotiated a suitable fee with me to ensure you are not disadvantaged by making the best possible recommendation.

Once again, thanks for all your help

Many thanks for concluding my Trust planning this year.

I particularly want to thank you for the open and transparent manner in which you have serviced my tax planning needs since I first met you seven or so years ago. In arranging my tax planning through you, I have confidence that your advice will not be tainted by any bias. Your straightforward approach gives me confidence that you will be on “my side” when making any recommendations to me. In the past, rather than compromise on your recommendations, you have negotiated a suitable fee with me to ensure you are not disadvantaged by making the best possible recommendation.

Once again, thanks for all your help

Michael Mahon –High earner recently retired

Click on the Google link above to see our most recent reviews.

Paul and Ann Stevens – IHT and Estate planning

As we approach the next review of our tax planning, I felt it was time to put in writing how very satisfied we have been with your advice and action on our behalf over the past years.

We first met with you at a time when retirement was no longer something happening in the dim and distant future, but soon enough for us to make important decisions regarding our security in our years after the age of sixty-five. The result has been to enable us not only to make sensible lifestyle decisions but also to spend on ourselves in order to keep up our quality of life before retirement.

One of the most impressive features of your approach is to link the decisions made by successive generations. As a consequence of a meeting between my mother, myself and you my mother has been willing to make plans to minimize the effects of inheritance tax but also to have access to what she needs.

This has enabled my wife and I to concentrate on making our own sensible financial plans.

Ann and I are content that the monthly payment we make to you has in itself been one the best investments we have made. Your pro-active way of setting up and making regular assessments under an integrated plan has ensured that we can approach our full retirement with confidence.

Learn about the types of people who become clients and find out some of the results we can achieve through 2 Case Studies.

What types of people become our clients?

Most of our clients have assets which exceed £1 million and therefore have a large future inheritance tax problem. We have been helping clients like these for over 18 years.

They contact us for advice relating to our speciality in estate planning and inheritance tax planning. These are considered to be some of the most complex areas of financial planning and so require specialist advisers.

Most of our clients are based in London and the surrounding home counties.

We are IHT specialists for clients with assets over £1 million

If your assets exceed £1 million in value, or at least close to it, you face a number of financial IHT issues not encountered by most other people.

As mentioned above, most of our new clients have current assets valued in excess of £1 million. This includes the following assets:

  1. Current equity in their main residence and other property in the UK or abroad.
  2. Total current value of cash, pensions and investments, less the value of any debts.
  3. Current saleable value of their business shares, if applicable.
  4. Current value of other assets such as royalties or Trust funds.

If your assets exceed £1 million in value, or at least close to it, you face a number of financial IHT issues not encountered by most other people.

As mentioned above, most of our new clients have current assets valued in excess of £1 million. This includes the following assets:

  1. Current equity in their main residence and other property in the UK or abroad.
  2. Total current value of cash, pensions and investments, less the value of any debts.
  3. Current saleable value of their business shares, if applicable.
  4. Current value of other assets such as royalties or Trust funds.

We are IHT specialists for clients with assets over £1 million

What do we expect from our IHT clients

We ask you to:

  • Provide full and detailed financial information to ensure we can work, to the timescale that you have specified.
  • Schedule time to work on items we’ve agreed together.
  • Complete and return any paperwork we have asked you to as promptly as possible.
  • Cancel pre-agreed meetings with us only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Agree to give strong consideration to any advice we offer – and we acknowledge your right to reject that advice.
  • Always advise us of any concerns or worries you have about any aspect of your finances.
  • Advise us of any ways you feel our service to you and other clients may be improved.
  • If you are happy with our services this will help enable us to build profitable high quality of which we can be proud, we would be very pleased if you recommend our service to at least two other potential clients each year.

FAQ

Will you help me if my assets are below £1 million?

The figure of £1 million refers to married people or a widowed person as if they own their own home. They have allowances of £1 million before any inheritance tax is due.

Divorced or single people have half that allowance, and so we will help if their assets exceed £500,000.

However, it is not the value of the assets they currently hold that is the problem. It is the value of the assets when the second spouse dies that is assessed for IHT purposes. For clients in their 60’s or younger whose assets are likely to grow well over the IHT allowances, we will also work with them to solve the long-term problem.

If you are unsure book a free 30-minute online consultation and we can discuss how you should proceed.

You mention business assets, but usually they are not liable for IHT anyway?

Many successful business owners sell their business on retirement and so the value would then be in their Estate for IHT purposes. Even if they retained the business shares until death, the value would still be counted as part of their overall Estate. If the Estate exceeds £2 million, you would then start to lose the Residential Nil Rate Band Allowance resulting in an increase in the tax payable.

My estate is very simple, so why would I need a specialist adviser?

Rarely is dealing with an IHT plan simple. Yes, there are simple methods to solve the problem, like giving assets away or taking out a life insurance. The question you need to answer - is the simple method I have in mind the most effective or am I missing something? For example, if you simply give assets to your children, what happens to the money if they get divorced?

Book a free 30-minute online consultation and I am happy to tell you exactly what you should do in that meeting at no fee. Then you can decide if you want help from us or not.

My estate is very complex with a wide range of assets – Can you help?

The majority of clients have Estates which are likely to grow to well over the IHT allowances by the time they die. As a specialist IHT adviser for more than 18 years, we have helped clients with a wide variety of assets valued at over £20 million to bring their IHT liability down to Zero. It is unlikely that your Estate is so complex that we cannot help you.

Book a free 30-minute online consultation, and I am happy to tell you exactly what you should do in that meeting at no fee. Then you can decide if you want help from us or not.

Case Studies

The below are 2 examples of clients we have helped and include solutions which might be useful for you.

Case Study #1

Client with current assets in excess of £1.5 million

Case Study #2

Client with current assets in excess of £5 million

Case Study #1

Client with current assets in excess of £1.5 million

Clients Situation

Our clients in this case were both in their mid 60s and had been fully retired for over 5 years.

Mr and Mrs Williams (note : names have been changed for confidentiality reasons)

  • Mr Williams had a net final salary pension income of just over £35,000 per year including his state pension. Mrs Williams pension income was just over £25,000 per year net including state pension. They were spending around £50K a year jointly net and so had a small surplus income.
  • Mr and Mrs Williams's main residence was valued at around £800,000 in which they wanted to remain long term with no plans to sell unless they went into care. They had a joint investment portfolio of just over £700,000 and around £100K in cash. They did not draw any income from these investments and were, in fact, adding to them annually with a few thousand Pounds per year from excess income.
  • Mr Williams had around £200,000 in personal pensions which were not being used for income.
  • Their total current Estate (excluding pension which are already in Trust) was £1,600,000 on which their current IHT liability was £880,000.
  • They were married with two married children who were basic rate tax payers. They also had two young (under 15) grandchildren who they wanted to help to pay towards private education.
  • They were both in quite good health. It was assumed that as they were adding to their capital annually and that the value of their assets were growing to the point that the IHT problem could easily double (probably more) by the date the second spouse died.
  • Mr and Mrs Williams did not want to simply give money to their working children as they were concerned they would require capital in the event they need long term care in the future. However, they definitely wanted to eliminate any IHT for their children.
  • They were both basic rate income tax payers for income.

The problems clients would incur if no action was taken

The problems clients would incur if no action was taken

  • They were both in quite good health. It was assumed that as they were adding to their capital annually and that the value of their assets were growing to the point that the IHT problem could easily double (probably more) by the date the second spouse died.
  • Mr and Mrs Williams did not want to simply give money to their working children as they were concerned they would require capital in the event they need long term care in the future. However, they definitely wanted to eliminate any IHT for their children.
  • They were both basic rate income tax payers for income.

The recommended solutions

  • Bluebond worked with Mr and Mrs Williams to determine and agree an overall long term strategy. We also  recommended other firms to carry out the detailed work and put some of the plans into place.
  • Bluebond advised that Mr and Mrs Williams gift £6,000 a year to their children and grandchildren. Using this allowance would add up over the years to reduce the IHT liability. However, they asked their children to keep this money in an ISA just in case it was required. They understood in the event of their children’s divorce that the money gifted would be at risk.
  • The recommended Trust company and Lawyers set up new Wills and four separate Trusts for the clients and their children.
  • Mr and Mrs Williams were introduced to a recommended firm of Independent Financial Advisers, who over a series of steps adviced on and set up the following plans :
  • Joint life second death standard policy in Trust – paid by fixed fee.
  • Joint life second death maximum policy was suggested but Mr and Mrs Williams decided not to proceed on that plan as they felt it was not the best use of funds. They decided they would ensure they gifted money away on time, as they felt at least one of them would survive 15 years.
  • Investment of £325,000 each into two offshore bonds held subject to two Reversionary Trusts.
  • Existing personal pensions were reviewed and it was advised to move to a discretionary fund manager for better risk management and potential for higher returns.
  • It was also advised In the future to look into an equity release plan to reduce the Estate further and gift the money into Trusts or directly to their children – only if the property value exceeded £1 million in the future.
Benefits of 6 Trusts
Benefits of Life Policy
Benefit of Reversionary Trust
Benefit of Pensions and Investments review

Benefits of solutions used

Benefits of solutions used

Benefits of 6 Trusts
Benefits of Life Policy
Benefit of Reversionary Trust
Benefit of Pensions and Investments review

Annual Review

As part of the plan, Mr and Mrs Williams would hold a regular annual review with both Bluebond and the recommended IFAs to ensure the plans were adjusted as required in case of changes to circumstances or tax rules. It was also agreed that as the clients got older that their children would attend the annual review meetings with Bluebond.

If they could not afford to continue to gift the £6,000 a year from income, they would use some of the £100,000 left after gifting to the Reversionary Trusts to fund this money. They trusted their children to return the money if required.

The plan here was quite straightforward due to the size of the Estate. However, by dealing with the plan in stages, together with Mr and Mrs Williams's children meant that they were able to achieve all of their objectives in eliminating their IHT liability. They were able to protect the whole Estate and keep the money in the family bloodline.

Mr and Mrs Williams have been delighted with the return on their investments to date. They also continue to work with us and one of their children also attends the annual review meetings.

Summary

Summary

The plan here was quite straightforward due to the size of the Estate. However, by dealing with the plan in stages, together with Mr and Mrs Williams's children meant that they were able to achieve all of their objectives in eliminating their IHT liability. They were able to protect the whole Estate and keep the money in the family bloodline.

Mr and Mrs Williams have been delighted with the return on their investments to date. They also continue to work with us and one of their children also attends the annual review meetings.

Case Study #2

Client with current assets in excess of £5 million

Clients Situation

Mr and Mrs Hill were in their mid 60s and had both been fully retired over 5 years.

  • Mr Hill had a net final salary pension income of just over £65,000 a year including his state pension. Mrs Hill pension income was just over £50,000 a year net including state pension. They were spending around £50,000 a year jointly and so had significant surplus income.
  • Their main residence was valued at around £2.5 million in which they wanted to remain long term with no plans to sell unless they went into care.  They had a joint investment portfolio of just over £2.4 million (around £500,000 in equity ISAs) and around £200K in cash. They did not draw any income from these investments and were, in fact, adding to them annually at around £60,000 a year from excess income.
  • Mr and Mrs Hill also had around £400,000 in personal pensions which were not being used for income.
  • Their total current Estate (excluding pension which are already in trust) was £5,100,000 on which their current IHT liability was £1,780,000. The Residential Nil Rate Band is lost as the Estate is over £2.7 million.
  • Mr and Mrs Hill were married with two married sons who were higher rate tax payers and had four young (under 12) grandchildren who they wanted to help to pay towards private education.
  • The main concern in this case was around inheritance tax and if one of their sons got divorced.
  • Mr and Mrs Hill were adding to their capital annually and the value of their assets was growing. It was projected that their IHT problem could in fact easily double (probably more) by the time the second spouse died.
  • They did not want to simply give money to their working children as they were concerned they would need capital in the event they need long term care. However, they were keen to eliminate any IHT for their children.
  • They were both higher rate income tax payers for income tax purposes.

The problems the clients would have incur if no action was taken

The problems the clients would have incur if no action was taken

  • Mr and Mrs Hill were adding to their capital annually and the value of their assets was growing. It was projected that their IHT problem could in fact easily double (probably more) by the time the second spouse died.
  • They did not want to simply give money to their working children as they were concerned they would need capital in the event they need long term care. However, they were keen to eliminate any IHT for their children.
  • They were both higher rate income tax payers for income tax purposes.

The recommended solutions

  • Bluebond worked with Mr and Mrs Hill to determine and agree an overall long term strategy and recommended other firms to carry out the detailed work and put some of the plans into place.
  • Bluebond advised to discuss Family Investment Companies as a potential solution with our recommended Accountants. After full discussions they decided not to proceed with this particular strategy.
  • Bluebond also advised that they gift £6,000 a year to their children and grandchildren to use this allowance as the figure adds up over the years to reduce the IHT liability.
  • Bluebond recommended that Mr and Mrs Hill should gift £60,000 a year to their children and grandchildren using the gifts out of normal income IHT exemptions.
  • Bluebond suggested that they should ask their IFAs if annual investments into Business Relief Investment Plans were suitable.
  • The recommended Trust company and Lawyers set up new Wills and separate Trusts for the clients.
  • Mr and Mrs Hill were introduced to a recommended firm of Independent Financial Advisers who, over a series of steps, agreed and set up the following plans :
  • Joint life second death standard policy in Trust – paid by fixed fee.
  • Joint life second death maximum policy – paid by fixed fee.
  • Joint life second death maximum policy – paid by fixed fee.
  • Investment of £650,000 into two offshore bonds held subject to two Reversionary Trusts.
  • Reviewed and advised on the existing pensions and investment portfolio and moved some to a Discretionary Fund Manager.
  • Set up new pension funds for the children and all grandchildren into which £60,000 a year was paid by Mr and Mrs Hill from excess income.
  • Advised on how best to sell down their existing investment portfolio over the coming right 7 years to maximise use of their Capital Gains tax annual allowances.
  • Advised Mr and Mrs Hill annually on investments into Business Relief investment schemes to save inheritance tax and retain access to that capital.
  • In the future look into an equity release plan to reduce the Estate further and gift the money into Trusts or directly to their children.
Benefits of 6 Trusts
Benefits of Life Policy
Benefit of Reversionary Trust
Benefit of pensions and investments review
Benefit of setting up pension funds for sons and grandchildren
Benefit of slowly selling down their investment to use their annual CGT allowances

Benefits of solutions used

Benefits of solutions used

Benefits of 6 Trusts
Benefits of Life Policy
Benefit of Reversionary Trust
Benefit of pensions and investments review
Benefit of setting up pension funds for sons and grandchildren
Benefit of slowly selling down their investment to use their annual CGT allowances

Annual Review

As part of the plan, Mr and Mrs Hill would hold a regular annual reviews with both Bluebond and the recommended IFAs to ensure the plans were adjusted as required in case of changes to circumstances or tax rules. It was also agreed that as they got older that their children would attend the annual review meetings with Bluebond.

Should it have arisen that one of the clients died earlier than expected and that there was insufficient time to gift away another £650,000 in 7 years time, then a Family Investment Company would have been suggested. As the assets were mainly in the main residence and investments, Mr and Mrs Hill preferred the simplicity of Trusts, investments into Business Relief Plans and outright gifts.

Benefits :

  • Reduce the IHT even further
  • Reduce the cost of the life insurance plans

The plan for Mr and Mrs Hill is quite complex due to the size of the Estate. However, by dealing with in in stages together with their sons meant that they were able to achieve all of their objectives in eliminating their IHT liability. In this they would not be funding their son's lifestyle to too high a degree and protecting the whole Estate, keeping the money in the family bloodline. They also had unexpected benefits of saving a lot of income tax.

Summary

Summary

The plan for Mr and Mrs Hill is quite complex due to the size of the Estate. However, by dealing with in in stages together with their sons meant that they were able to achieve all of their objectives in eliminating their IHT liability. In this they would not be funding their son's lifestyle to too high a degree and protecting the whole Estate, keeping the money in the family bloodline. They also had unexpected benefits of saving a lot of income tax.

The information contained in this web site is for UK consumers only.  Like most firms of solicitors and accountants, Bluebond Tax Planning is not regulated by the FCA. The content of this website does not constitute FCA regulated financial advice and all content is provided for general information purposes only. Bluebond is not responsible for any action you may take as a result of information on this site. All advice will be delivered on a personal basis once we fully understand your situation and our client agreements have been signed.

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