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Management of Inherited Assets: How HNWIs Protect the Future of Their Families

The strategies of HNWI inheritance management are the methods of transferring assets to descendants on safe and profitable terms. Responsible financial management guarantees the well-being of future generations.

Management of Inherited Assets

HNWIs and UHNWIs: Who Are They?

High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) are wealthy individuals with a capital of USD 1,000,000 or above.

Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) are individuals whose net wealth equals no less than USD 30,000,000. If you are a UHNWI, you are bound to be a HNWI.

The capital contains the following property: 

  • Real property
  • Bonds and shares
  • Money in bank accounts
  • Antiquities
  • Equipment
  • Transport
  • Licenses
  • Trademarks
  • Precious metals
  • Bank deposits
  • Companies
  • Yachts
  • Accounts receivable, etc.

According to the 2023 report of Wealth-X, an analytical company, there are currently 20.4 million HNWIs in the world.

Interesting information:

  • As of September 18, 2023, Elon Musk was the first person on the Forbes list (worth USD 264 billion).
  • In 2021, the increase in the number of UHNWIs reached 9.3%.
  • The overall property possessed by HNWIs and UHNWIs is worth about USD 26.8 trillion.

Importance of Inheritance Planning for HNWIs

Wealthy people need to take care of their inheritance to guarantee that their capital will be carefully transferred to the beneficiaries they choose. At the same time, it would be desirable to optimize the tax load and evaluate the real cost of property. 

Let’s look at the reasons why it is important to ensure correct inheritance management:

  • Protection of the family’s financial future. A competently elaborated inheritance strategy guarantees that the financial future of beneficiaries will be cloudless.
  • Optimization of inheritance taxes. If the strategy has been correctly selected, the beneficiaries will get the maximum cost of assets. Inheritance planning minimizes the length of inheritance processes.
  • No family arguments. The testator’s will about property distribution stated in a clear way will minimize the probability of disputes between beneficiaries. 
  • Protection from incapability risk. The testator may appoint a trusted person who guarantees compliance with his or her wishes about property distribution if the former becomes incapable.
  • Charitable activity. If the testator includes donations in his or her inheritance plan, the testator may support important charitable actions and leave a considerable heritage.
  • Business and asset protection. Inheritance planning helps you ensure a smooth asset control takeover by heirs.
  • Property protection from risks. Inheritance management helps wealthy people protect their capital from different risks, including lawsuits, bankruptcy, or sudden financial liabilities.

Rich people manage their inheritance to satisfy the needs of their heirs by giving them access to education, medical services, and accommodation.

Inheritance Management Strategies

Complex multilevel inheritance strategies are created for HNWIs to take advantage of. Everything depends on the testator’s wishes and the nuances of capital distribution. 

Inheritance management strategies include planning and taking measures that will enable an efficient transfer of capital, property, and other financial resources from one generation to another. 

Competent realization of these approaches may solve the following tasks:

  • Optimization of tax consequences
  • Satisfaction of beneficiaries’ needs
  • Capital protection
  • Wealth preservation
  • Prevention of family disputes

Particular strategies may be developed taking into account the aims, requirements, and the particular situation of each HNWI.

Family Office

Family Office Exchange (FOX) is a unique family business established for the complex provision of individual asset management solutions. 

The family office type for HNWIs is selected on the basis of the following factors:

  • Complexity of the family structure
  • Amount of capital
  • Relevant tasks

Types of family offices:

  • Single Family Office (SFO)
  • Multi-Family Office (MFO)
  • Virtual Family Office (VFO)
  • Generational Family Office)
  • Specialized Family Office
  • Hybrid Family Office

Procedure for family office establishment:

  1. Feasibility study.
  2. Design and structuring.
  3. Realization.
  4. Management and monitoring.

Trusts

Trusts can be used as an alternative to the will. They are the top solution to be used by the HNWIs who want to pass their capital to the successors while keeping the process as confidential as possible.  

Such agreements make it possible to protect your property, allocate it for particular purposes, and also dispose of the specified capital in accordance with the testator’s wishes. 

Kinds of trusts:

  • charitable
  • revocable
  • irrevocable

Establishing a revocable offshore trust in Nevis would be an excellent option! Let’s look at the advantages of this solution:

  • a high level of confidentiality
  • special conditions of inheritance transfer
  • protection from forced inheritance

You can transfer tangible and intangible assets to the trust.

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Business Planning 

Business transfer as part of inheritance management is an important part of the general inheritance planning strategy for wealthy persons. The solution includes a number of strategies aimed at ensuring a smooth business transition to heirs. If you make a competent plan, you can also prepare your business for sale.

Key aspects of the strategy:

  • business assessment, determining a potential for future growth
  • choosing an optimal management structure
  • elaborating a company handover plan
  • tax burden reduction
  • ensuring business stability
  • taking into account the interests of successors

A wealthy person who engages an economic consultant specifies the aims to be reached. A business structuring scheme is developed to ensure its smooth transition to beneficiaries.  

Planning the Education of Heirs

HNWIs give their heirs a proper education to enable the successful transfer of property to the next generation. 

Important aspects of the scheme:

  • teaching financial competence
  • developing social responsibility
  • business and property management
  • an ability to resolve conflicts and disputes
  • maintaining family relations
  • understanding the significance of charity

The heirs who have the required knowledge can not only preserve the capital they inherit but also increase it.

Charity

The new Altrata report says that individuals who receive high incomes currently contribute 38% of all individual donations across the globe. 

Forbes estimates that only eleven out of 400 richest individuals in America contributed more than one-fifth of the capital they possess to charitable projects: 

  • John Arnold
  • Edythe Broad
  • Warren Buffett
  • Bill Gates
  • Melinda French Gates
  • Amos Hostetter Jr.
  • Pierre Omidyar
  • McKenzie Scott
  • Lynn Schusterman
  • Jeffrey Skoll
  • George Soros

Making charity a part of the inheritance planning strategy may have several tangible advantages:

  • Inheritance formation
  • Tax benefits
  • Development of heirs’ social responsibility
  • Strengthening of family relations

Actions that can be taken:

  • Establishment of charitable funds
  • Support of medical research
  • Donations to educational institutions
  • Support of environmental protection programs
  • Regular tranches for charitable organizations

Projects should be selected in line with your values.

Planning Taxes and Legal Aspects

Taking tax and legal aspects into consideration ensures efficient management of inherited property and protection of heirs’ interests.

Here are the actions and decisions that this strategy includes:

  • Taking into account regional/international taxes
  • Planning income/profit taxes
  • Making up powers of attorney/wills
  • Choosing an optimal legal structure
  • Reduction of tax burden

Specialists who will be of use:

  • Tax experts
  • Financial planning experts
  • Accountants
  • Auditors 
  • Inheritance law specialists
  • Financial counselors
  • Financial consultants

Tax planning will make it possible to optimize tax obligations, ensure safeguarding of assets, and achieve financial goals.

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