We met this particular couple in our London office. Mr Smith had been a highly successful landscape architect and Ms Jones had worked alongside him as well as being his partner of 20 years.
The initial enquiry was to provide retirement options for Mr Smith’s significant pension fund. Whilst we were part of a “beauty parade” we were the only firm to insist on looking at the entire picture. At this stage we informed the couple that they had a much greater financial issue: their marital status.
Having explained the financial risks they were running by not marrying, we were then instructed to review their entire affairs. Our recommendations included:
- Getting married (this potentially saved £1.5 million in inheritance tax liability).
- Ceasing to live full time in France to avoid the French wealth taxes.
- Reviewing the Principal Private Residence Relief (PPRR) on their properties to reduce capital gains tax (CGT).
- Ensuring that the clients received the maximum tax free cash from their pension plans.
- Using pensions to maximise their basic rate tax bands.
- Advising on £1 million of pension fund investments.
- Advising on £2 million of non-pension investments.
Our clients have since started a new business, making use of the legal and taxation advisers we recommended for them. We are waiting to see how the new business works before deciding on further pension income and / or contributions.
We do not make client details public, however if you are interested in becoming a client and would like to speak to someone who is like you and uses us now, please ask us to put you in touch.