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Business owners - make it your business to consider your Will

View profile for Claire Clarke
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As a Private Client solicitor with quite a few years' experience under my belt, I find that generally younger people put off making wills unless a particular event prompts them to do so. 

I always advise everyone to make a will since it provides certainty for those that you leave behind.  This is all the more important if you are the owner of a business. Take a moment to imagine what would actually happen in the event of your death.  How would your family, business partner, fellow directors or employees manage? 

There are a number of issues that might be considered, for example:

  • Who would run/wind up the business in your place? Would your spouse/children/next of kin be able to cope if they are the executor of your will or if they became an administrator under the rules of intestacy?
  • Inheritance tax planning – depending on the circumstances, a will might be written in a manner which might make it tax efficient, particularly if business property relief might be applicable.
  • If you own company shares, the terms of your Articles of Association should be considered in terms of whether there are pre-emption rights or whether a cross-option agreement is in place?
  • If you are a sole trader, who would be able to access the business accounts in the event of your death?
  • If your family inherits your business interests would they want to be involved or would your business partners/directors have the means to buy them out? 
  • Does your business have adequate Life Cover in place to provide for your family or provide funds to your fellow shareholders to ensure the business continues?

Investing in professional advice can ensure that in the worst of circumstances, your loved ones and business partners have a plan in place to help them get through it.  At Chattertons, we have a team of specialists in our Private Client, Company and Wealth Management departments who can work together to ensure you put the right package in place.

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