An estate had been struggling for many years to create surpluses for distribution to the beneficiaries of the Trust.
On the surface all was well. The properties were all fully let at market rents; the properties were all in good repair; the agricultural tenancies seemed to have been re-organised; the woodlands had won awards in the past.
The trust was very complicated and suffered from 10 yearly IHT charges but did not have the power to make provision for these charges out of income which belonged entirely to the beneficiaries.
In the first instance we agreed that it would be sensible to tackle a part of the overdraft, and keep the bank manager happy, by selling some woodland which made no income and did not affect the integrity of the Estate.
My client was surprised and delighted to find that woodland was worth rather more than the few hundred pounds per acre that he had assumed.
We looked at the major sources of income and re-negotiated his contract farming arrangement generating an additional £80/acre over 600 acres. This placed the estate on a more sustainable footing on a trading basis however it did not provide a solution to the overall objective.
Another opportunity was spotted through the application of some specialist knowledge to release value from what had been thought to be a secure agricultural Holdings Act tenancy generating just £40/acre. This deal, not spotted by anyone else for 20 years, generated a net capital increase in value to my client of c£2m.
This put the future of the Estate and my clients ambitions, objectives and destiny firmly back into his control.
“David has spotted opportunity where it seemed that none had existed.
He has acted as a consultant discussing and advising me in my business interests on the Estate and resolving what had appeared to be a lost cause.”
Lord G, Estate owner SE England