A recent article in the financial press highlighted the perils of ‘gifts with reservations’ citing the Inland Revenue guidance on what constitutes a reservation. The rule that made me smile was borrowing more than three books a month from a ‘gifted personal library’- I remember driving around every charity shop in the county trying g to find a home for my father’s much loved book collection!

To me it is important to embrace the spirit of gifting rather than worry about the rules. I’ve talked before about becoming ‘magic grandparents’ – encourage activities of which you approve through matching funding (never just pay for it) while not supporting others. The money is not important, the conversations you have are, along with the values imparted.

Managing a declining asset base is a vital skill-set – without it half of everything you have acquired through life goes to the government as a ‘voluntary’ tax contribution (that is 40% in tax and a further 10% to the ‘advisers’ who help you pay the bill!).

Changing the habits of a lifetime is a big ask, particularly in later life, but if you can you are securing the financial future of your family for generations to come and possibly starting a ‘Dynasty’!