Recently, LCIA ordered Teymur Akhmedov, the son of the Russian billionaire Farhad Akhmedov, to pay his mother more than $100 million. The businessman's ex-wife filed a lawsuit against her son, claiming that he helped his father hide property from her after the divorce. The judge, in her decision, called the 27-year-old Teymur Akhmedov a "dishonest person" who was ready to do anything to help his father prevent his ex-wife from receiving the money awarded to her.
Inheritance issues consist of three components. You need a comprehensive approach to cover each of the emerging issues within these components. While banks and lawyers most likely won’t provide a solution for you, especially regarding matters outside of Russian jurisdiction, we consider each case in detail and offer an integrated approach.
The press is increasingly reporting on lengthy litigations over the division of ex-spouses' property. In most cases, former spouses face the challenge of dividing assets such as businesses, family property, and art. For example, the story about the Bosov legacy: Katerina Bosov claimed her marital lot, and there couldn’t be a simple solution. When business problems arise, the family loses all assets and finds itself without a livelihood. We offer tools that will proactively ensure the family’s well-being and protect it from any possible problems with the business.
Here, the instruments related to the will, like assignments and refusals, play the central role. For example, the testator can indicate his wife as the heir, who will manage his property, and who will support all his children, including those from previous marriages. As a result, no one will lose control of the business and assets. If the testator does not indicate any, then the case will go to the notary, who also won’t understand who to transfer the assets to. By writing a will, you get to dictate how the cake gets shared, rather than letting the law dictate how it gets cut up and who gets a piece.
If you structure a business, be it the largest or the smallest one, it will lose value when you are no longer in charge of it. We also can’t exclude conflicts with current partners. No one will be satisfied if instead of one leader, there will be many new ones. Also, problems with minority shareholders are pretty standard, which can deprive the heirs of assets. An example of corporate planning is a stake estimate for each party to an agreement. If the partners do not want heirs to have the shares, they buy them out or leave the company. In that case, the heirs buy out partners’ shares. There should be a transparent scheme of actions for each particular situation, how to proceed, and who is responsible for certain activities. Otherwise, the only thing the company would do is withdraw its assets.
Talking openly about succession planning is quite challenging, but these preparations will preserve wealth and income for your family and future generations. We are here to help families understand the succession planning process, define the most important points, and create the most efficient plans to meet those priorities.
Natalia Butrina, Head of Legal, UFG Wealth Management