Remembering your business interests when drawing up your personal Will is essential.
When preparing a Will, many people forget to include their business interests in their arrangements, however, nothing could be more important for your company. In business, as an owner, partner or shareholder, it is important to consider all your assets when thinking about your personal Will
Consider all options for your Estate and Business
Many people assume that all their assets will go to their loved ones and beneficiaries automatically, and some people create a personal Will, but omit to include their business interests. There are several questions you need to consider to ensure that you have correctly specified how you want your whole estate to be managed after your death:
- Who would be affected by your death if no plan or Will was drawn up?
- What would happen to your employees?
- Would your company continue and if so, with whom?
- Do you have debtors or creditors?
- How will your business assets affect the upper threshold (£325,000) for Inheritance Tax?
- Do you have children under the age of 18 or other dependents? How will this affect them should they inherit the business?
If a company director dies without creating a personal Will in business, his or her share of the company then becomes the property of the estate. This continues until the estate is settled by intestacy law. If you haven’t personally made arrangements, you can risk your company being inherited by someone who doesn’t want to look after the interests of the employees or other stakeholders, or aren’t old enough or competent to manage it. When a portion of an estate is inherited by a minor, Courmacs can advise on Discretionary Trusts which manage shares of the business until the inheritor is of an age when they can receive full control.
Business Wills are best handled by your solicitor
Having a business portfolio containing multiple companies can also make this area of law into a potential minefield. Complex business Wills are best handled by a solicitor to make sure that all the estate’s assets are included and managed as per your preference. We do, sometimes act as executor in these instances, to enable the businesses to continue operating until a final settlement is reached.
There are other options when creating your Will in business, though. Specifying how you want your business interests to be managed after your death is the only way to ensure that your employees and years of hard work are protected. Giving your shareholders, partners or fellow directors the opportunity to buy out your share of the business is one other option. Some business-holders prefer the business not to continue after their death, which then requires it to be liquidated and the value to be added to the deceased’s estate.
We can help you to draw up your personal business Will. Please get in touch by calling us on 0161 749 9606 or emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to advise you on the best course of action for you, your family and your business.
This information does not constitute legal advice.