Sehjal Gupta – Private Client Director
Traditionally when one is contemplating divorce, a family lawyer would usually be the first port of call in terms of advisers. However, clients need to also consider turning to their accountants who already have an insight to their client’s financial affairs and are a natural point of contact to turn to at an emotionally and financially trying time.
In addition, they are able to recommend a course of action that is likely to be beneficial from a tax perspective.
Tax has a significant impact when splitting assets
Client going through a divorce need to understand that when it comes to asset-splitting, tax has a significant impact on the financial settlement amounts. We work closely with lawyers and other professionals on divorce cases but often we find that if clients had come to us sooner, there could have been simple planning points which may have been helpful to them and their overall financial position.
Where should clients focus?
When going through a divorce there are a number of key areas clients should focus on such as tax, forensics, income sources, valuations and wealth planning.
Divorce is undoubtedly a testing time; emotionally, financially and mentally which makes it even more important to have the right advisers and in effect ‘the dream team’ in place to help in making the whole process easier to deal with.
Planning for the future with our clients
I have a particular focus on divorce and advisory functions and advises non-UK domiciled individuals and international HNWI, many of whom are intending to move to or from the UK. I believe as accountants, we often have longer-term relationships with our clients becoming their trusted adviser over time. We not only understand the numbers and have experience in analysing financial information and advising on planning for the future, for example the future needs of children such as education and tax planning around inheritance but we also have an understanding of the family dynamics. With the vast network of lawyers the firm already works with, the team can assist in ensuring clients are working with family lawyers that are most suited to their requirements and have a team around them that will place them in a better position in every way going forwards.
At Menzies everyone genuinely cares about their clients and we are in the position where we can make a difference and do the right thing by them.