A family investment company (FIC) is a long-term tax efficient vehicle that enables an individual to pass assets out of their estate for inheritance tax (IHT) purposes while retaining control and protecting them.
The UK has 4.8 million family businesses – 88% percent of all businesses in the UK – big brands such as Dyson, Warburtons and Specsavers are but a few that spring to mind. While the majority are small businesses, over 17,000 are medium and large companies.
Entering business is usually a carefully planned undertaking, however, this may not always be true of a partnership. Where family members, often across different generations and over many decades, are involved in a farming operation, they may unwittingly create various partnerships. All partnerships – even those that are unconsciously entered into – have significant, immediate and longer-term legal consequences which often only to come to light in a moment of crisis, such as the death of a family member or a family fallout. To avoid protracted disputes and further breakdown of relationships, it is always advisable to ensure that partnership agreements and wills are consistent and correctly reflect the farm family’s intentions.
It took until 2004 for the Civil Partnership Act to be passed, another year for the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to come into force (in 2005), and the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act to be passed in 2013. Dal Heran discusses same-sex partners and raising a family.
The Court of Appeal’s judgment handed down in March 2021, in relation to four, jointly-held appeals, all involving child welfare issues in cases alleging domestic abuse, was accompanied by new guidance to help family courts navigate domestic abuse cases.
Joan Thompson claimed reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 from the estate of her partner, Wynford Hodge. He gave his £1.5m estate to Karla Evans and Agon Berisha, who were tenants of one of his properties. The will made no provision for Joan, who was financially dependent on Wynford and who had lived with him for 42 years.