Family wealth: succession and governance planning, keeping it together?

"Laptop and coffee on marble coffee table

In this article, Reshmi discusses her views on the common questions that are being asked of advisors today when it comes to managing wealth and succession planning.

Clients and advisers often need to grapple with the question of how we deal with managing and succession to wealth and most importantly, succession to the "control" of such wealth.  A key issue is whether "keeping it together" is sensible or not, along with minimising and avoiding disputes!

There are many solutions and approaches that can be taken to solve these questions and issues. There is no "one-size fits all" solution. Just as every family is different, so is the best solution. 

The recent pandemic has focused many of our minds on such matters. Particularly reviewing the status quo and getting basic governance in place. We have seen a focus on needing to demonstrate how decisions are being taken, that they are reasonable and that the relevant process has been followed.  There has been an increase in questions being asked, and in some cases disputes.  

Aiding clients and their advisers review existing structures (or the lack of them) has given opportunities to address these questions. I have been encouraged by the support and opportunities the firm’s entrepreneurial client base and approach allows, as it provides an excellent platform to further develop the governance related work I have been focusing on. 

From my experience of working across various jurisdictions that have different legal, cultural and practical contexts, I have found that I am frequently being asked to review decisions where the Sharia is relevant. We review existing structures from a general governance, legal and/or Sharia perspective too. Additionally, the experience of building upon my general tax and private client expertise, developing solutions in other jurisdictions, with different legal, cultural and practical contexts, including specifically where the Sharia is relevant, we are often asked to review decisions to be made, or existing structures from a general governance, legal and/or Sharia perspective too.  

As advisers in the private wealth space, the questions on "keeping it together" are certainly becoming more common. How? Why? And are we doing things as we should be? Most importantly, it is no longer just about whether the right people are in control, or what the structure is, but also about whether those in control are seeking the right advice and are able to demonstrate this too when needed.

The Private Client team has recently welcomed Reshmi Manekporia to the firm. Reshmi is a Partner in the Private Client team who has significant experience advising clients on tax, estate planning and related matters. She advises international clients, their businesses and structures along with intermediary advisers, including banks and trust companies.



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