This article highlights the dangers associated with money for many high net worth families. I think most sensible people would agree that money alone cannot bring contentment, fulfilment, happiness - money is only a helpful facilitator, and not necessarily essential, to attaining such universal goals.
What a travesty then, that an entire family unit with £500million net worth (imagine for a second all the good this family could have done for one another in the family unit with that money, not to mention others outside the family) and boundless opportunity has been torn apart.
Dare I say it - along with appointing independent trustees - a Life Planning approach to wealth management might have helped avoid some or all of this dispute.
In our experience what works well for families with significant wealth is a joined-up Family Wealth Management Plan. This is a service that starts with Life Planning on each family member individually - with an independent adviser getting to the bottom of everyone's drivers, goals, hopes, dreams, fears and any obstacles in the way.
With everyone's views being heard and respected by someone independent, before being brought together, a Family Wealth Management Plan can deliver understanding, respect, and a joined-up approach between family members. This can bring hugely significant tangible benefits on inheritance tax savings, lowering stress levels about money, and improving family harmony.
We have seen son's and daughters - with refreshed help and engagement from mum and dad - set up that business they had always wanted (but had largely put off due to being unsure, ironically, about money, with young families of their own); and quit the day job they hated to travel around the world and come back happy and full of life, whereas before they were never happy, which in turn had always worried mum and dad.
Generally speaking, a Family Wealth Management Plan, delivered with the help of an independent, Life Planning adviser, can help an entire family get closer to those universal goals.
And avoid £500m disputes.
A Bitterly-fought case shows risks of making gifts to children to avoid inheritance tax Later this month the High Court will hear a dispute over £17m of jewellery, antiques and fine art, in the latest skirmish in a rancorous conflict over gifts made by a wealthy property developer to his children. The Davidson family has been torn apart by a legal feud over more than £500m in Trusts. The case is a vivid illustration of the risks of making outright gifts to children to avoid inheritance tax (IHT). In 2015, Manny Davidson, then 84, warned wealthy parents to “keep your money and spend it on what you want” in a newspaper interview, after his children put the house up for sale against his wishes. He and his wife are now suing for the return of items in the house.