Some Fang-tastically Scary Business Stories
With Halloween only a few days away, we have asked the partners here at Raffingers to trawl through the memories they probably chose to try and bury, to remind everyone that not all scary stories involve ghosts and witches!
The year is 2000 and the Cold War is over, James Bond is starting to modernise and restrict himself to just beautiful women per movie and the days of the secret agent roaming the back streets of some secretive communist, the Caribbean island has long gone. Or are they?
Reports emerged in the press naming one of our clients as the “spy” arrested in Cuba and held by the secret police for interrogation. Now I always knew he ran a private investigation business but I had always assumed this largely involved following unfaithful spouses and rich businessmen. Spying? On Cuba? For the CIA? He had never mentioned it over lunch! Scary stuff.
Despite the sensational headlines, the client was eventually released refusing to confirm that he had been on the island following (surprise surprise) the unfaithful spouse of a rich businessman! And despite claims of arrest, detention and torture he told the assembled press on arrival at Gatwick that he had been arrested whilst playing squash and drinking orange juice, had been well treated by “polite” secret policemen and had used the time reading a great book!
So not so scary perhaps but anyway…..
According to news reports, the Queen recently declined an offer by Oldie magazine to award her with the title of “Oldie of the Year”. Being put up for an award for being old is enough to strike terror in the hearts of many and indeed Her Majesty politely declined the award. Her husband Prince Philip won the award in the year of his 90th birthday and remarked then that "There is nothing like it for morale to be reminded that the years are passing - ever more quickly - and that bits are beginning to drop off the ancient frame.” Which brings me to the horror story I experienced with a couple who came to us for Inheritance Tax planning advice.
It is never too early to plan for this and I always recommend that clients don’t wait until they are being reminded of their age before making the necessary arrangements. Halfway through our meeting, we were notified that their son was waiting in reception and was insisting on being allowed to join us. Apparently, he was worried that dad and mum were spending his inheritance! We brought matters to a swift conclusion and let them out the back door where the getaway car was waiting. Back to the oldie of the year award – in turning this down, the Queen replied that "Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel”. No doubt my clients let their son know that they were feeling young enough to spend their money on a well-deserved holiday!
If those stories have taught us anything, it is that you'll be surprised by what some people can get up to and think twice about informing your children about your inheritance planning appointments! If you are ever in the need of any business advice, be sure to get in touch as we are always ready, getaway car included if ever necessary...