Meet our Team

Find out more about the people behind Bluebond

Charles de Lastic

Managing Director

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

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

Ava Vinokourova

Legal and Tax Adviser

Ava is well qualified and has strong work experience in both legal and tax advice for private clients

She obtained her legal qualification(LLB Law 1st class Honours)in London with specialisation in Commercial Law and Equity. Ava is an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Planning (STEP)practitioners and the holder of an Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT).

Ava has extensive knowledge of inheritance planning and offshore trust arrangements and a great deal of experience in the underlying local tax regimes. Ava is a fluent speaker of English, Bulgarian, and Russian.

She has years of experience in assisting high earning individuals and companies with compliance and tax matters as part of sophisticated tax planning solutions

She joined Bluebond to assist new clients with inheritance tax planning using corporate structures like limited liability partnerships and Family investment companies together with some more specialist trusts.

Ava is well qualified and has strong work experience in both legal and tax advice for private clients

She obtained her legal qualification(LLB Law 1st class Honours)in London with specialisation in Commercial Law and Equity. Ava is an affiliate member of the Society of Trust and Estate Planning (STEP)practitioners and the holder of an Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT).

Ava has extensive knowledge of inheritance planning and offshore trust arrangements and a great deal of experience in the underlying local tax regimes. Ava is a fluent speaker of English, Bulgarian, and Russian.

She has years of experience in assisting high earning individuals and companies with compliance and tax matters as part of sophisticated tax planning solutions

She joined Bluebond to assist new clients with inheritance tax planning using corporate structures like limited liability partnerships and Family investment companies together with some more specialist trusts.

Ava Vinokourova

Legal and Tax Adviser

Our Support Team

Heather de Lastic

Finance Director

Heather has worked in the company since 1999. She is the company finance director and so manages the company accounts and  also HR to keep our team happy. 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.

Ashwini Reddeppa

Administration Support

Ashwini joined us in January 2022 to work as a full time administrator.

She is a detail oriented financial services person who has worked in this field for many years.

She has proven experience working in client support, relationship management and administration roles within the financial service industry.

She assists the team with many important elements of the administration process to ensure clients planning is carried out as effectively as possible to help clients achieve their goals & objectives.

Ashwini joined us in January 2022 to work as a full time administrator.

She is a detail oriented financial services person who has worked in this field for many years.

She has proven experience working in client support, relationship management and administration roles within the financial service industry.

She assists the team with many important elements of the administration process to ensure clients planning is carried out as effectively as possible to help clients achieve their goals & objectives.

Ashwini Reddeppa

Administration Support

Victoria Staneva

Operations Manager

Victoria has previously worked in television production, high end restaurant management, digital marketing and as a book reviewer and so brings a strong eye for detail and operations management to the company.

Victoria recently joined us in 2022 to help ensure the smooth running of the company operations. Her role is developing the company marketing campaigns and ensuring the smooth work flow of administration tasks between the team.

We help UK residents with over £1 million in current assets pay ZERO in inheritance tax

One stop comprehensive specialist advice - Tax, financial planning and legal advice service service with 18 years experience.

Pricing Strategy

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 £497!

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:

We help UK residents with over £1 million in current assets pay ZERO in inheritance tax

One stop comprehensive specialist advice - Tax, financial planning and legal advice service service with 18 years experience.

FAQ

What do I get for my initial fee of £497?

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 £497 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 £497, what am I committed to?

You are not committed to implementing any of the advice or paying any other fees – the £497 fee is stand alone and is designed to cover the cost of my administration team.

Your initial fee of £497 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 £497. 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 firms to help implement some of the strategies we recommend. 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 answered can end up very expensive just to get to the point of understanding recommendations.

What will it cost to implement your recommendations?

Unfortunately, it is impossible to say as we have no idea what you will decide to implement from the range of strategies we recommend to you.

Most people are recommended 5 or 6 strategies that help them achieve their financial goals and retain their lifestyles and achieve financial peace of mind.

All of these variables impact the fees:

  • Which trusts and how many, and how they are structured

  • Amount of insurance taken out

  • Value of assets placed into trusts

  • Use of Partnerships or Family investment companies or not

  • The complexity of your current situation and the number of different strategies required

  • Your need for annual reviews or only every two or three years.

The main point is you will have written invoices for any fees you pay in advance of a fee being due.

How can I be sure your implementation fees are not too high?

We charge a low initial fee to reduce entry barriers to enable clients to understand the advice we give them with almost no financial risk.

Based on the level of our initial fee, we lose money dealing with clients initially. If our implementation fees were not competitive, we would not have been in business for 23 years. We are also growing our business rapidly from recommendations from existing clients.

Nearly everyone of our clients is wealthy and has had the sense to grow their wealth by being careful with money. They check the value of the implementation fees and 9 out of 10 people who start working with us proceed to become clients.

None of this would happen if our implementation fees were too high, and so you should feel comfortable that you will be OK with there as on able level of our implementation fees once it is agreed on what you wish to implement.

In the end, you only commit to paying your initial fee at the outset with no obligation to proceed, and so the financial risk for you is minimal.

Full Money Back Guarantee

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 £497 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.

We help UK residents with over £1 million in current assets pay ZERO in inheritance tax

One stop comprehensive specialist advice - Tax, financial planning and legal advice service service with 18 years experience.

Client Testimonials

The testimonials below are from some of our existing clients.

Read our 27      reviews

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.

Read our 27      reviews

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

Read our 27      reviews

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

Read our 27      reviews

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

Read our 27      reviews

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.

We help UK residents with over £1 million in current assets pay ZERO in inheritance tax

One stop comprehensive specialist advice - Tax, financial planning and legal advice service service with 18 years experience.

Client Profile

Learn about the types of people who become clients.

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.

We help UK residents with over £1 million in current assets pay ZERO in inheritance tax

One stop comprehensive specialist advice - Tax, financial planning and legal advice service service with 18 years experience.

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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