As many of our New Year’s resolutions start to fall by the wayside, private wealth lawyer Jessica Schock offers ten resolutions for every HNW to follow in 2017 and beyond
One Make a will or update your existing will – this is the item that gets pushed back on everyone’s priority list and we understand why. Because of this, we’re putting it at the top of our list.
Two Make a lasting power of attorney – this goes hand in hand with the will. You can appoint a person or persons to act as your attorney(s) should you be unable to act. There is a lasting power of attorney for your property and financial affairs and a separate one for your health and welfare and you can make one or both.
Three Are you a UK resident non-domiciled individual? If so, are you prepared for the changes to the taxation of UK resident non-doms from 6 April 2017? If not, act quickly; there is still a window of opportunity to plan.
Four EEA national living in the UK and want to stay? We do not know what the new immigration rules are going to look like for EEA nationals following Brexit, but if you can obtain your permanent residence card evidencing your right to live in the UK this can only help your position. It is also the first step to take before you can apply for British citizenship.
Five If you own a UK residential property through an offshore company then you will know by now that from 6 April 2017 you will lose the IHT protection that companies have always provided. Take action as early as possible to minimise the potential tax liabilities.
Six If you’re not ‘de-enveloping’ your property, be ready and prepared in good time to file your ATED return and make your ATED payment at the beginning of April.
Seven Review your estate planning strategy and don’t miss out on some useful inheritance tax exemptions or reliefs.
Eight Are you the settlor/beneficiary/trustee of an offshore trust? If so, are you aware of the changes to the taxation of offshore trusts that will be introduced from 6 April 2017? One example is the ‘anti-washing out’ change, which means that in the future no account will be taken of distributions to non-UK resident beneficiaries when matching trust gains to distributions. Again, there is still time to plan ahead of 6 April.
Nine For remittance basis users, the government is further encouraging investment in the UK through Business Investment Relief (BIR). BIR enables remittance basis users to bring funds into the UK to invest in certain companies without that being treated as a remittance and BIR will be extended to make it easier to take advantage of the relaxed remittance rules. If you have been considering investment in the UK but have hesitated until now, this is the year to follow through.
Ten Giving more to charity is a popular resolution. You can consider setting up your own charity, or simply donate to an existing charity. Either way, when doing so you should ensure that you take advantage of the available reliefs to which you are perfectly entitled.