What is Wealth Planning?
Wealth planning is the art of structuring your wealth while building it, preserving it, and in order to transfer it to the next generation tax-optimised. Wealth planning is a mix of tax planning, wealth protection, estate planning and business succession planning and relates to your total worldwide wealth.
Substantial wealth is always under threat
Sophisticated wealth planning services are becoming ever more important in this rapidly changing world. Wealthy families have internationalised over the last decades. Often children or other family members live, study or marry in different jurisdictions. There is a growing number of divorces and second or even third marriages and the following generations often have an entirely different view on the wealth generated by the previous generation. In most countries privacy is also becoming more and more seldom, and an increasing number of governments are implementing austerity measures and scrutinizing the wealthy.
In brief, there are numerous situations in which your wealth, or part of it, may be jeopardized and, in the case of larger families, threats may even arise in different jurisdictions simultaneously. Unless you structure your family’s assets properly, they will increase less, can disappear over time or be jeopardised by a wide variety of factors.
However, by putting suitable and regulation-compliant wealth planning structures in place most threats can be neutralised. Structuring wealth is therefore one of the core activities of Provident Partners and one of the most important reasons why an affluent family should use our services.
Three generations and your wealth has vanished
Wealth is often generated by only one generation. Research shows that without proper planning, it completely disappears over the next three generations on average. A transfer to the next generation through inheritance often entails that the wealth gets divided over several persons, which automatically results in less assets owned per person.
Taxes such as wealth tax, estate and inheritance tax and income tax can, for example, take quite a big bite out of your family’s wealth. There are also regulatory and legal challenges and in certain countries increased political, religious and economic risks and instability to be taken into account. We assist you in minimising these risks and help you safeguard your assets for the next generation.
Potential threats to your wealth
Other potential threats to your family’s wealth are, for example, assets being frozen on death, matrimonial disputes or disputes over the devolution of your estate. Among the non-financial reasons to implement wealth planning solutions are avoiding disputes over the control of the family business, protecting your privacy, protecting your reputation or ensuring your family’s safety. All issues which wealthy families should better consider sooner than later, but our practical experience shows that unfortunately these types of wealth planning issues are often addressed too late.
Wealth planning structures
All these potential threats stress the need for your assets to be structured (as tax-efficiently as possible and at the right time) if you are a wealthy (international) family. A wealth planning structure may consist of:
- A holding company to separate financial assets from operational assets and mitigate operational risks.
- A Foundation to be active in philanthropy
- Life insurance solutions to set aside wealth for specific family members and facilitate the transfer of wealth to the next generations
- A Professional investor fund to invest in a controlled and optimized manner
- Wills and prenuptial agreements to safeguard assets from family by marriage
Bespoke wealth planning
Providers of these services will not necessarily implement these wealth planning structures separately, but often in a complex combination. Some of the structures might be more suitable to support with wealth creation and others might function better for intergenerational wealth transfer. Structuring via a jurisdiction which has negotiated an investment protection agreement with the country where the assets are invested could also bring additional benefits to the family.
In our experience, quite a number of wealth planning solutions were advised and implemented in the past by asset managers or trustees without prior consultation of experts such as (tax) lawyers. In the past this may not have caused many problems, but in the current environment it will. As regulatory pressure mounts and governments home in on undeclared assets and affluent families, it is extremely important that your assets are structured in a tax- and regulation-compliant manner. Should this be neglected, a considerable part of your family’s wealth could get jeopardized and your non-compliant wealth planning structure could even become a threat in itself to your wealth.
Implementing high-quality and solid wealth planning solutions is becoming more challenging every year.
We look forward to discussing your specific wealth planning needs, challenges and opportunities.