The Knight Frank Rural Report 2020 raises a number of issues which we have also been discussing with our clients over recent months. It highlights the need for a “whole estate plan" which covers not just the commercial, environmental (climate change features heavily in the report) etc activities on the estate over the next few years and decades, but also succession matters. Tax will play a key role (but should not be main driver to any planning) and we await with interest the Chancellor’s economic update this week and his subsequent autumn statement. 

In preparation for this, however, you can take steps now to support the next generation with these changes. In their podcast here, colleagues Alex Caton and Louise Paterson discuss gifting heritage and farm property assets. If you are not in a position to gift assets just now, you may wish to consider a governance framework for your family, to assist with key decision-making; this is similar to a corporate governance structure that commercial businesses adopt (a landed estate is, after all, a rural business). This can work alongside your formal legal documents, covering your assets and interests, providing an overarching framework to ensure that your values infuse all future decision-making. Here is a helpful guide to assist you with this.

There are many ways you can take action now, depending on your circumstance, ahead of any changes announced by the Chancellor. Please do get in touch to discuss.