How to Manage Succession

Key contact

Morton Fraser Partner Sue Hunter
Sue Hunter
Sue is a partner and head of our Private Client sector.  She is also the head of our Wealth Management team.
0131 247 1054

Succession planning can take place during your lifetime, or at the time of your death. 

You need to think about succession to your estate.  If you don't, the law of Scotland will determine what is to happen to your assets.  The default legal position may not necessarily be what you want to happen.

The laws of England and Scotland are different, and if you are moving between countries, you should make sure that your advice is up to date.

Succession planning can be a stressful thing to do. You might not be able to see how you can provide for your beneficiaries in the way you would like. We will guide you through the process efficiently, and help you with the difficult areas.

There are two main aspects to the process.

  • How do you make sure that your assets pass to the people you want, at the time you want?
  • Do you need to think about a more detailed strategy, in order to protect your beneficiaries, and to save tax?

We work with clients in both of these matters, and can put in place one off documents like a Will, or work with you over a number of years to implement a more involved strategy.

Our approach is to familiarise ourselves with our clients’ circumstances and objectives and always provide clear, thorough advice. As important as your Will, is how you get to that point, and what you need to think about to get your affairs in order.  It's all about planning, for if you don't and you don't have a Will, the State will tell you what has to happen to your assets. If you have a large estate, Inheritance Tax (and other taxes) can be saved if you structure your affairs correctly. You also need to appoint Executors to sort out your estate when you die. And we can help you decide who would be best suited for this.

We can get this done very quickly for you, allowing you to get on with your life.

What happens when things go wrong

We will review the facts with you and help establish the real problem. Is it a legal problem or is it more emotional than that?  Legal and emotional issues are often impossible to separate and we take account of both.

We'll advise you on your rights, use our expertise to negotiate strongly and seek the best solution. We give clear, straightforward, practical advice and help you understand even the most complex legal issues.

To get the best advice, you need people who are experts in litigation and in succession matters.  Our team is made up of both.  We work together to make sure we consider all options before resorting to litigation, but when court action can't be avoided we defend your position robustly.

Our approach to fees

We want to provide our clients with fixed fees.  That can be quite difficult to do unless we properly understand your individual circumstances, and what we need to do for you.  We don't want to compromise the work we do for you or the service we deliver, by offering a headline grabbing fee quote, which we don't then deliver on. Our approach to feeing is therefore to meet with you, and to establish your objectives. The cost of this meeting, which will include a review of your assets and your tax situation, will be £350 + VAT. The cost of this meeting will be deducted from any fee for work which follows. At this meeting, we will provide you with an estimated fee for carrying out the work, and we will not go ahead with that work unless you have approved that fee quote.

Our team is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and we are independent advisors. This means that we offer clients advice from the whole of the market, and are not tied to any particular provider.