When getting married, moving in with your partner or making any other kind of major commitment, it is important to consider how this might impact your long-term financial interests. Taking a realistic view of these issues and seeking expert advice can protect your future standard of living and help you to avoid unnecessary conflict.
With a very strong grasp of the financial side of family law, our team regularly advises medium and high net worth clients on all aspects of wealth protection, as well as issues such as financial settlements during divorce.
Dealing with the financial consequences of a divorce can be difficult.
Watch our short video for a simple, step-by-step guide to the process.
We can advise you on the various options available, such as creating pre-nuptial agreements and co-habitation agreements, as well as setting up family trusts. Our team have particular experience with complex and high value assets, including inherited wealth, business interests, international assets and contributions from parents or other family members.
Unlike your typical law firm, we can offer a high level of technical expertise in various wealth protection measures, delivered with exceptional personal service. We aim to give you complete confidence that every issue has been considered and that your future financial security is assured.
To speak to a member of our Family Law team about wealth protection or to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation, please contact your local IBB Solicitors office in Chesham, Reading or Uxbridge, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why IBB Solicitors are the safe choice for protecting your wealth
With decades of experience advising a wide range of clients on all of the various options for wealth protection, we know what works and how to get the right measures in place to match your circumstances and priorities.
Our Family Law team is led by Amanda Melton a highly experienced lawyer with particular expertise in advising medium to high net worth clients in relation to complex financial assets. Amanda has been recognised in the Legal 500 for combining “exceptional professional knowledge with strong interpersonal skills” as well as for her “straight-talking approach and honesty about the potential pitfalls of a case”.
We are recognised as one of the leading teams of family lawyers in the South East, being ranked Tier 1 by the Legal 500 for Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex, and Band 2 ranked by Chambers & Partners for Watford, Uxbridge and the surrounding area.
How we can help you with wealth protection
If there is a significant difference in income or assets between you and your future spouse, a pre-nuptial agreement is often a good idea to help minimise the risk of any future conflict if your relationship doesn’t work out.
A pre-nup can also be a good idea if you have children from a previous relationship whose inheritance you want to protect, or specific assets such as a business you wish to safeguard. It can also be used to protect you from accepting responsibility for any debts your future spouse has incurred or may incur in future.
Our family lawyers can help you to draft a pre-nuptial agreement, negotiate with your future spouse and their legal representative, and review a pre-nup prepared by your spouse’s solicitor. We can also advise on creating a post-nuptial agreement, offering the same type of protection, if you are already married.
Many couples now live together without getting married and unfortunately a large number of these people do not realise that they have no automatic legal right to a share of each other’s assets or any kind of financial support if they separate.
A cohabitation agreement allows you and your partner to agree how your assets will be divided if your relationships ends, making sure you both have long-term financial security.
While cohabitation agreements are not legally binding, they are a sensible measure to have in place in order to set out both parties’ intentions and to try to prevent future disputes. This is especially important where you have children as it makes sure their needs will be met, no matter what the future brings.
We can advise you on what to include in a cohabitation agreement and draft the document for you, as well as reviewing a cohabitation agreement drawn up by your partner’s solicitor if required.
Setting up a family trust allows you to ringfence certain assets to benefit members of your family, such as your children. It can be used to protect assets such as a property or investments, making sure your dependants will continue to benefit from them even if your circumstances change in future.
Family trusts are often used where you have children from a previous relationship whose inheritance you want to protect or where you need to provide for a vulnerable dependant’s long-term care needs.
We can advise you on setting up a family trust, as well as acting as professional trustees if required, making sure your assets are protected and your loved one’s needs will be met now and in the future.
When you buy a house with your partner, it is important to make sure that you are clear about the basis on which you are doing so. Under English law, the ownership of a property will be considered evenly split between whoever is named on the title deed.
So, if you and your partner are both named on the title deed, you will be assumed to each own 50% of the property, even if you have contributed different amounts to the purchase and/or mortgage payments.
If you are buying a property with your partner and will be making unequal contributions, it is a good idea to set out what share of the property each of you will be entitled to if you later separate or need to sell your home.
This can be done with declaration of trust, which sets out the financial arrangements involved in buying a property, or a cohabitation agreement.
Our team can help you to create a declaration of trust or cohabitation agreement that sets out what share of the property each of you owns or how this would be calculated at the point of sale. This can give you both certainty and avoid the risk of you losing out or facing unnecessary conflict in the future.
Where your parents or other family members have given you financial assistance, e.g. paying for the deposit on your home, it is normal to want to protect that contribution.
Depending on your circumstances, this might involve creating a declaration of trust, a cohabitation agreement or a pre-nuptial agreement to make clear how any financial contribution from a third-party will be treated in the event your relationship ends.
We can advise you on creating the relevant documents or review documents produced by your partner, making sure family contributions are treated fairly if your circumstances change in future.
If you are married or in a civil partnership and have inherited, or are likely to inherit, significant wealth, it is important to consider how this would be treated were your relationship to end.
Both pre-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements can be written to include provision for future inherited wealth. Where you are married and have inherited since your wedding, you may also want to consider creating a post-nuptial agreement.
Our family lawyers can advise you on the right steps to take to protect your inheritance, making sure you do not lose out if your current relationship does not work out.
Business assets need to be treated with particular care when getting married or if you are already married when you start or join a business. Divorce and relationship breakdown can be fatal for businesses if your share ends up being divided as part of a financial settlement.
We can advise you on how best to protect your business interests, including where you own a business with your spouse or unmarried partner. By using provisions such as pre-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements, we can make sure your business is not negatively impacted by any theoretical future divorce or separation.
Our family law team have exceptional experience with advising High Net Worth individuals on wealth protection. We are particularly skilled in dealing with complex assets, including international assets, so can offer the highest levels of expertise and discretion.
Whatever your requirements, we can offer a bespoke service tailored to your priorities, giving you confidence that your financial interests have the very best protections in place.
Our fees for wealth protection advice
We want the cost of our wealth protection services to be completely transparent, so we always provide clear cost estimates at the outset. Our team also offer various fee options to match your circumstances.
Initial fixed fee consultation
We can offer an initial consultation at a reduced rate, giving you an opportunity to discuss your situation and the outcome you want to achieve, along with any particular points of concern. Our team can then talk you through the available options for protecting your wealth, as well as the costs involved and any issues you need to consider. You can then make an informed choice about how you wish to proceed.
Fixed fee wealth protection services
Some matters can be dealt with on a fixed fee basis, meaning we agree a set price in advance for dealing with a specific issues e.g. drafting a pre-nuptial agreement. This gives you certainty over your costs at all times.
Individual charge-out rates for wealth protection advice
We can also work to a pre-agreed hourly rate, meaning you will be charged for the exact amount of work we carry out for you. You therefore have total control over the amount you spend, while getting exactly as much or as little support as you need.
To find out more about our fees, please take a look at our pricing policy.
Speak to our wealth protection advisers in West London, Buckinghamshire & the Thames Valley
For experienced, pragmatic advice on protecting your wealth during marriage, civil partnership or cohabitation, please contact your local IBB Solicitors office in Chesham, Reading or Uxbridge, or email email@example.com.