"You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they are going."
Children have a happy knack of asking wonderfully innocent questions, which often need succinct but careful responses.
My youngest son posed me this very question as we were sharing our breakfast together this morning. I paused for thought not wishing to confuse the issue by delving into the world of trusts and foundations (that will have sent us down a whole different line of questioning regarding the supporting structures for our house) and answered: "well, people give Daddy money to look after and help grow for when they need it back in the future." My son nodded sagely (if that’s possible at the age of 7) seemingly content with the response and tucked into another spoonful of Cheerios, deftly prodding his fingers into his older brothers ribs, swiftly bringing to an end a serene start to the mornings proceedings.
Putting structures in place to look after peoples hard earned wealth is not child’s play and is an assignment we at Affinity take very seriously. To ensure we fully understand each person’s requirements, we meet all of our clients personally to ensure that the rationale for establishing their trust, company, partnership, foundation or alternative structure remains relevant for their needs at the start of a relationship as well as during it.
This open dialogue is so fundamental to Affinity’s DNA that we do not charge our time for meetings we hold with our clients, as we find this time invaluable to ensuring your needs and aspirations are aligned with our own interpretation. We actively encourage clients to phone us to discuss family issues, potential investment opportunities or to just have a general catch up. Our fingers are on the pulse, not the clock.
The need for financial planning and structuring is more relevant now than it has ever been. We can help protect your wealth and provide increased confidentiality and financial security for you and your family in troubled times, particularly if you live in politically or economically unstable areas. Ultimately, setting up offshore trusts to manage potential tax burdens still remains a key determining factor. However, in our experience the benefits afforded through the use of foundations, either acting as private trust companies or on a stand alone basis, for those individuals wishing to have greater personal control over the administration of their assets provide a growing appeal.
I am brought screeching back to reality when a dollop of apricot jam flies into my lap amidst much hullaballoo, before my youngest clearly showing signs of guilt encouragingly piped up: "so people give you money and you grow it and give it back to them when they need it". Perfect, I said, you got it.
"So if I give you a £1 you can give me £10 back tomorrow" came the response – groan!