In the majority of deceased estates, solicitors and probate practices have the relevant expertise and experience to handle the issues which arise.
However, where matters start to get more complex, particularly where there are a variety of asset types and business interests, then our team’s additional skills can be invaluable in allowing you to deliver a cost effective and timely result for your clients.
Where the estate is simple and the family members are in agreement, a basic set of estate accounts is usually fine.
However, where the estate is more complex, perhaps with large secured and unsecured debts, family “mistrust” or many asset disposals, it can be beneficial for accountants to prepare the accounts – we are good at it and the family members will be reassured to see a firm of chartered accountants prepare the numbers!
Self-Assessment tax returns
Dealing with the income tax affairs of the deceased can be difficult – the best source of information is no longer around to help. Milsted Langdon has bespoke software and experts to produce self-assessment tax returns up to the date of death and estate tax returns for the administration period.
Ensuring that the assets are treated appropriately for tax purposes, and that all allowances are taken advantage of, can help to ensure that the maximum funds end up in the hands of beneficiaries and it is therefore crucial that the executors are taking the appropriate steps.
Our team of experts have a wealth of experience in both planning, and completing the documentation, for inheritance tax. During the process, we can identify where the estate affairs might be restructured to achieve a better tax result – perhaps, a deed of variation to “bank” business property relief or increased gifts to charity to allow a claim to a lower rate of inheritance tax.
In the event of a business owner passing away, one of the first challenges executors face is how to deal with this trading entity. Clearly where there is an existing management structure in place such that their loss, at least from the business’ perspective, can be managed then this is less of a concern. However, all too often those at the top of the organisation are the least easy replace and the least likely to have a natural successor in place.
Our Intervention team have vast experience in stepping into businesses where there has been some dramatic occurrence which has meant that the driving force of the business, be that the sole director, CEO, managing director or any other title, is no longer present.
How we’ve helped
In a recent matter the team were appointed to look after three businesses, two limited companies and a sole trader business, in order to keep them trading whilst the family decided what they wanted in the longer term.
In the end we traded all three businesses for ninemonths whilst we negotiated sales of the businesses; two to outside third-parties and one to a management buy-out. All this was executed with close liaison with the family and achieved a good return to the estate in circumstances where, had steps not been taken quickly and decisively, the businesses would have rapidly become a liability in the estate accounts.
It should be said that there is no real limit to the types of business that can be dealt with and the team have experience of a wide variety including retail, regulated sectors, government suppliers, agriculture and manufacturing to name just a few.
The appointments are normally taken as a directorship by one of the partners of Milsted Langdon rather than using any of the provisions of the Insolvency Act, in order to avoid any stigma attaching and ensure that, should a sale be the end scenario, the price isn’t diminished.
For further information, please contact a member of our team.