Very few of us live our lives in adherence to some master plan. Even for those that do, it is usually the case that our affairs tend to get more complicated as time passes by. Assets will often grow in number, type, location and value; and new family members are added by birth and marriage. Each new addition comes with its own set of issues, characteristics and requirements. When it comes to family office wealth planning arrangements, it is very often the case that structures are created to facilitate the tax-efficient acquisition of a new asset or the protection of family financial capital from a specific threat at a specific point in time.
In addition to changes in personal circumstances, the landscape within which we all live is also continuously evolving. In recent years there have been many far-reaching changes to legislation and the regulatory environment within which structures operate. Many of these changes would have been almost impossible to predict and their impacts, both intended and inadvertent, can be monumental. For example, the introduction of FATCA and the Common Reporting Standard now means that huge swathes of personal data are systematically shared between countries with very few exceptions.