Solicitors probate advice in question
Shortly before his surgery in 2007, successful businessman Christopher Swain completed a £5 million management buyout of his company, unhindered by his solicitors who, it is believed, were aware of his ill health.
Unfortunately, Mr Swain died following the surgery and it was at this point that his four daughters were hit with a £1 million Inheritance Tax bill.
The girls were understandably upset after learning that should their father have not completed the management buyout prior to his death and still be in possession of the shares, they would have not been liable at all for any tax on this portion of his Estate but would have been covered entirely by business property relief.
In order to register their dissatisfaction at the advice given to their father by his solicitors (and presumably to try and recoup some of the cost they are now faced with), the girls have taken their case to Court.
Although the case is still undergoing and the firm of solicitors has yet to be found guilty or not guilty of misconduct, its seeming reluctance to advise Mr Swain not to go ahead with the buyout or indeed the apparent lack of effective estate planning is questionable.