Family negotiations : Why would a family war over £600m held in trust? The Sunday telegraph reports that a negotiating ploy to duck inheritance ends in a lose lose like negotiation position.
The wealthy family tears itself apart. A self made man who left school at 14 accumulates wealth of £600m. The husband set up 2 family trusts in 1967 to avoiud inheritance tax. His two teenage children were the main beneficiaries. They had many happy holidays at a villa they built near Nice, with their grandchildren as they grew up.
Suddenly in 2011 nearly 50 years later there is an unexplained family row. The children of the trust locked their parents out of their own home. Now in the High Court the elderly couple are living as tax exiles on Monaco, they are bringing claims and counter claims against each other. There are a number of questions here and number of issues to think about in a win win win negotiation.
1 – What a crazy thing to happen in the twilight of your life!
2 – Living as Tax exiles in Monaco for what benefit at 85. Why not pay your tax to the UK authorities where you made your money and help the flow of money circulate. I have spoken and negotiated in Monaco, its a claustrophobic place with no green fields and no space.
3 – Jaw Jaw rather than war / war would be better and the legal people wouldn’t make so much money out of their misfortune.
Apparently it is reported the children had an easy life and never had to fend for themselves. Family negotiations become emotional and logic goes out of the window. Often in a negotiating situation, people only see that their loss is the money, rather than the emotional stress which can often cause illness due to a reduced immune system.
Mediation, getting round a table would be the solution BUT often people let these things go to far.
What can we learn from the many examples like this that we read about regularly in the newspapers?
1 – Don’t let these situations, fester and develop. You never know what might happen down the track. Anything might derail you!
2 – Make sure people look after themselves – your children need to be able to without your help.
3 – Perhaps everybody pay their fair share of tax, to the country where they earned their wealth? If you don’t won’t the law of universal law of cause and effect come in to play? As Socrates spoke about in BC 400.
The Negotiation Speaker – Mr Negotiator