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Estate & Trust Planning

Our directors and staff have significant experience in dealing with small and medium sized country estates, and where appropriate use trusts as an efficient method of tax planning and asset protection.

We are continually providing advice to a number of clients who are looking to diversify away from farming to increase income without jeopardising the capital taxes reliefs previously available on the assets held.

It is our policy to review recent tax cases on an ongoing basis with a view to our clients obtaining 100% inheritance tax relief and maintaining business status to secure rollover and holdover relief for capital gains tax where possible.

We are members of NFU Professional, and the ICAEW agricultural division, and have qualified chartered tax advisers within our staff. We also have staff training for the Society of Trust and Estate Planners qualification. We have been successful in winning numerous cases against the capital taxes office involving agriculture and land and have a wide experience and knowledge of probate work.

Our services include assisting with the formation and administration of trusts, together with the preparation of annual accounts and tax returns.

We have an in depth experience of dealing with a wide variety of business structures including the usual sole traders, limited companies, partnerships and limited liability partnerships, together with share farming arrangements, trusts and joint ventures.


There are three highly relevant areas where we are currently assisting clients:

• Farmer and Balfour Cases and Rental Properties
In these Cases, 100% business property relief was given in full in respect of all rental properties where they formed part of a country estate, and where ‘in the round’ the main activity was farming. We have used this principle on various of cases to reduce the overall exposure to inheritance tax by ensuring they are on balance still seen as farmers. This is particularly relevant for country estates of all sizes where some trading activity is undertaken together with rental activity.

• McKenna Case and Farmhouses
Following the decisions in the McKenna and Antrobus cases we have developed our own strategies to maximise the chances of obtaining either agricultural property relief or business property relief on all or part of country houses and farmhouses.

• Are you grass letting?
Given the decision in the McCall case, the Revenue will no doubt shortly be focusing on ‘farming’ arrangements and look to attack those where they believe the individual is not ‘actively trading’. This is particularly relevant where the trading activity is that of grass letting. The availability of both business property relief for inheritance tax purposes, and also entrepreneurs relief for capital gains tax could be affected. It is therefore vital that the business activities are carefully considered to ensure the trading and business ‘tests’ are satisfied. Our grass letting newsletter identifies the difficulties faced in meeting these criteria. This can be found in the tax tips and hot topics section of the website.

For individual advice, please email us.