With almost 30 years legal and tax experience, Claire is a Partner in the Private Capital team specialising in tax, trust and estate planning for individuals, business owners and trustees including in the context of high and ultra-high value estates, complex family scenarios and tricky trust issues.
How Claire can help you
Claire is noted by her clients and by other professionals for combining technical skill with an empathetic approach to helping individuals and families address their estate planning worries and goals, which she takes time to understand.
She prides herself on providing clear and pragmatic advice so that her clients can make well informed choices at every stage of life whether embarking on or ending a relationship, building or exiting a business or giving children or grandchildren a financial helping hand. She regularly helps individuals and couples put together well thought out strategies for lifetime gifting to minimise inheritance tax exposure and Wills tailored for maximum tax efficiency and built in asset protection.
Claire specialises in creation of family trusts and other structures for passing on family wealth, providing comprehensive guidance on related tax and practical considerations. She has many years’ experience of working closely with families concerned to provide for beneficiaries with special needs or who are vulnerable in some way through appropriate trust planning.
Claire has always enjoyed a particular focus on working with business owners to ensure personal and business planning aligns including on eventual exit from the business and to plan for family business succession, advising on and implementing helpful structures for passing on the wealth generated by the business in a tax efficient, measured and protected way.
Claire often works closely with other professionals such as financial advisers and accountants to ensure clients can benefit from a joined-up approach to personal and business planning.
Claire is able to advise from a cross border perspective for those with connections to other jurisdictions and non UK assets.
- Trust planning advice for a couple who had recently realised significant wealth on sale of shares in a business. The aim was to set aside over £4m for the benefit of future generations via a combination of gift and loan trusts which will mitigate the eventual inheritance tax exposure for their estate. Working closely with the clients to explore their ethos around future stewardship of family wealth and philanthropy and crafting a detailed letter of wishes for the guidance of their children who they envisage taking over the trusteeship of the trusts from them in due course.
- Will planning for a client who had recently remarried. He wanted to provide in his Will for an equal division of his estate between his wife and 3 daughters from a previous marriage. This would have given rise to an immediate six figure inheritance tax liability in the event of his death. Advising on options for structuring his Will to make best use of the spouse exemption and nil rate band allowances, allowing flexibility to ensure appropriate provision for each of the intended beneficiaries at the relevant time in line with his wishes. The effect of the newly restructured Will was to eliminate any immediate inheritance tax exposure in the event of his death, assuming he is survived by his wife, and with scope to reduce or even eliminate inheritance tax on the provision being made for his daughters.
- Will and trust planning for a couple unsure about how best to provide for their adult children including one whom has a disability. Guiding them through relevant options so that they felt empowered to make informed choices. These included setting up a lifetime trust qualifying for favourable tax status, providing for flexible trust arrangements in their Wills to ensure an appropriate amount of capital would be ringfenced to continue to provide for their child with a disability in the way they had always done (and to enhance rather than detract from any entitlement she may have to state support). Also ensuring careful consideration given to making separate provision for the inheritance of their pension savings to ensure this would work in harmony with their Wills.
- Estate planning advice for a couple concerned to mitigate their inheritance tax exposure. Their main assets were their home and various rental properties which were providing them with an income in retirement. Advising on income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax implications in the context of their plan to gift one or more of their rental properties to their adult children. This enabled them to make informed choices.
- Advising a US national with adult children living in both the US and the UK on planned move to retire in the UK. Providing analysis and advice on current domicile status and when this will change. Also advising on scope for planning to mitigate future UK inheritance tax exposure in the run up to becoming domiciled in the UK. Also reviewing and advising on the status of their US living trust arrangements and suitable cross border Wills.
- Acting swiftly in response to request to set up trust to receive gift of shares qualifying for business property relief prior to business sale, so that the shareholder was able to take advantage of the relief to set aside significantly more of the proceeds of sale into trust for the benefit of his children and future generations, liaising closely with the shareholder’s financial advisers and the corporate lawyers involved in the sale to bring everything together in good time.