Mastering Wealth Preservation: The Art of Estate and Succession Planning

Photo by Luemen Rutkowski/Unsplash

Hannah Roynon-Jones, Jersey Trustee and Director, Alex Picot Trust discusses the importance of safeguarding high-value and sentimental assets.

Imagine your most valuable assets, the treasures you’ve spent a lifetime accumulating and enjoying, a source of prosperity and mark of success for you which could become a legacy that transcends generations of your family.

The art on your walls, the home your children grew up in, precious jewellery and watches, the holiday home the family visits, your life savings and investments; each echo with the whispers of time, and represent a wealth not just of monetary value, but of sentiment, memories, and hard-earned success.

Now, consider the importance of safeguarding these high-value and sentimental assets to ensure they become an enduring gift, aid and legacy to the generations that follow.

In this era of economic uncertainty and rapid change, the conversation around protecting your wealth has never been more crucial. Join us as we delve into the strategies and considerations for protecting your assets

The complexities of international wealth preservation for families should be handled with sensitivity, independence and professionalism.
A private client focused trust company is well versed in the complexities of family dynamics that can arise and the ever-changing demands or needs of different family members.

We look at some real-life examples which, unfortunately, may be all too familiar family scenarios.

  • Mother and father establish family business which is very successful, and are able to provide their three children with a privileged and financially secure upbringing. They still live in the property in which they brought up the children and this has been in the family for years, it would be their desire to keep this property in the family.
  • The first child lacks drive and purpose, is not interested in developing a career and is very dependent on their parents for financial support. They do not have a real understanding or appreciation of the value of money and like spending on cars, holidays and property.
  • The second child has a career of their own but in the interest of fairness, the parents have assisted this child with the purchase of a home of their own and provide them with regular monetary gifts which are often used to spend on items like jewellery, watches and cars. This child is going through an acrimonious divorce and their ex-spouse wants to keep the home that was funded by the parents, include the items purchased via the parent’s funds, and include the gifts as part of their ongoing maintenance support.
  • The third child is estranged from the family and lives abroad. It would be their desire on their parent’s death, that the family home is sold and they keep their share of the proceeds. The parents would like to exclude this child from their Will but they know the child will challenge this.

How to protect and preserve this hard-earned wealth in any of these scenarios? Consider the establishment of a family trust.

Securing Legacies, Empowering Futures.

While a traditional Will is often the standard go-to approach for estate planning, a family trust is comforting in that it can be setup and established now, in your lifetime, in accordance with your wishes.

Trusts are highly flexible legal instruments that can be customized in terms of who is to benefit and enjoy the assets held. An individual can provide the trustees with different scenarios and what they would like doing with the assets in each. You choose who will inherit and that inheritance effectively “goes live” in your lifetime when you name who the beneficiaries of the trust are to be. You can even name potential beneficiaries i.e. grandchildren who are not yet born, which you cannot do in a Will.

The trustees can then get to know the family; the dynamics, the wishes, and the needs, which all should be balanced and managed accordingly in line with the wishes of those who established the trust.

The trustees take on the legal ownership of the assets, which protects against claims like in divorce or challenging a Will, and against potential tax liabilities on death.

The trustee will be responsible for the management, preservation, and care of assets. This is especially important for maintaining the condition of the items and providing up to date valuations, as a trustee can ensure proper storage, conservation, and handling.

As experienced wealth management professionals, the trustees will guide the family when they are making investment decisions for the assets; taking into consideration what makes both financial sense and what is in the best interests of the family.

If an individual has philanthropic inclinations, a trust can donate some of the assets, like a valuable art collection, to a charitable cause.

Private client focussed trust companies offer bespoke and personalised structuring services that continue beyond the lifetime of the settlor, protecting against potential circumstances which could unravel a family’s financial security. Think of a Will as a one-off protection, whereas a family trust offers continuous protection and therefore far more peace of mind for those individuals concerned with the longevity and preservation of their wealth.

A Look to Jersey | Jersey, Channel Islands

In the heart of the Channel Islands, Jersey is a world-leading jurisdiction for international asset-holding trusts, offering highly regulated fiduciary service providers and stringent trust laws.

Jersey is self-governed with a long tradition of political, legal and regulatory stability as well as close links with the EU and the UK and has been a proven choice for trusts since the 1930s.

Today, decades of experience working closely with families across generations and international borders, ensures that long-established Jersey trust companies, with a private-client focus, are fully prepared to help shield your assets from the unpredictable tides of the future.

A Jersey trust can be the linchpin in transforming your assets into a timeless heritage for the generations yet to come, and bespoke and structuring provides four key advantages:

  • Comfort in legacy management with professionally managed and timed wealth transition.
  • Familiarity with family affairs by experienced professionals allows for effective family governance.
  • Effective Estate management with family assets protected.
  • Clarity of circumstances and options for flexibility of structuring services.
    Embarking on the journey of passing down wealth through generations is in many ways aligned with creating a masterpiece – it requires precision, strategy, and above all else the personal touch.

Alex Picot Trust boasts a rich Jersey heritage reaching back 138 years and over 90 years of trust services experience. We’re privately owned by our Jersey resident former and current directors, ensuring we retain an independent view without the pressure of any external shareholders.

Alex Picot Trust is a registered business name of Alex Picot Trust Company Limited which is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission to conduct trust and company business.

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