Case Study: Mr & Mrs Smith

Mr & Mrs Smith (not their real names) responded to one of our contacts a few months ago and a Casey & Associates consultant visited them at their home. Mr & Mrs Smith are in their sixties and had married each other five years previously. This is the second marriage for each of them. Each first marriage ended in divorce. Mr Smith has four children from his first marriage and Mrs Smith has one child from her first marriage. Mr & Mrs Smith are living in Mrs Smith’s family home whilst Mr Smith’s family home is rented out to provide income in addition to pensions. Mr Smith’s four children get on well with Mrs Smith but, unfortunately, Mrs Smith’s daughter did not get on well with Mr Smith.

Mr & Mrs Smith had brought quite differing amounts of assets to this marriage and were worried about how to distribute everything to the children. They were also concerned that distribution of their assets could be influenced by the order in which they died. There was the added problem that Mrs Smith’s daughter did not get on well with Mr Smith and his children.

We were able to create an Estate Plan based on an in-life trust that would last through to second death together with Wills with trusts that would protect assets between first and second death. Furthermore, working with a specialist partner some funds were invested on a basis which reduced the likely Inheritance Tax liability. Lasting Powers of Attorney were set up but not on “family” lines. Mrs Smith asked for her daughter to be present during one of our planning meetings and it became clear that it had been the uncertainty of succession which had caused the rift between Mrs Smith’s daughter and Mr Smith and his family.

The Estate Plan we created gave both Mr & Mrs Smith and their respective children an agreed succession plan and thus much “Peace of Mind”, reduced their Inheritance Tax liability and helped to improve the relationship between Mrs Smith’s daughter and Mr Smith and his children. This has been a particularly pleasing result.

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