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.
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.
Despite a recent case where a pre-nuptial agreement was not taken into account when considering the final financial award, pre-nuptial agreements continue to serve a very useful purpose for many families.
Against a backdrop of a wider court reform programme, the government has just announced (in June 2020) a radical change to the family justice system following the conclusion of a year-long review by an expert panel commissioned by the Ministry of Justice.