A guide to wills, probate and trusts for business owners and investors
No one likes dwelling on thoughts of illness, death or worst-case scenarios. But when it comes to securing your finances for after you’re gone, there’s no use burying your head in the sand. Taking the time to write a will now is important for protecting your family, ensuring the welfare of loved ones, and saving time, money and stress for your nearest and dearest down the line.
This is particularly true for business owners and investors, who must contend with very different rules and requirements when it comes to will writing. It’s even more important for entrepreneurs and shareholders to ensure that the future of their dependants, money and assets aren’t left to the courts. Understanding what’s required of you now will help to make sure that those you care most about are supported in the years to come.
Will writing for business owners and investors requires care and consideration
Owning a business, or shares in a business, has a significant impact on how you should write your will and plan your estate. And generally speaking, the more complex the business estate, the more important it is to be clear and considered in the creation of your will.
Without a will in place, your business or shareholding could pass to any number of individuals, including:
- Someone without the experience or skills to run it effectively
- Someone simply not interest in running it
- Multiple parties with conflicting views on how the business should be run.
This could lead to a loss in value due to bad management, or even the decision to sell the business for a quick profit.
You may already have a clear idea of who you’d like to inherit your business or shares, whether that be family members or a trusted employee, in which case you’ll need to start putting a structure in place as soon as possible.
In order to know where, and to whom, you can leave your business or shares, you will need to familiarise yourself with the business’s partnership agreements, articles of association and any shareholders’ agreements. You should also think about the desires of the family members or staff members you intend to leave the business to – how much involvement do they want in the organisation?
Business owners must also consider not only their own dependants, but those around them, including business partners, staff, suppliers and even the customers. Transparency and clarity are essential when finalising plans for business inheritance. Passing on a business in your will can result in significant Inheritance Tax for your estate, so it’s also important to plan how your estate will manage this in advance, and whether you could be eligible for Inheritance Tax relief.
Support for business owners and shareholders is available
As you can see, there are a range of factors to consider for business owners and investors looking to organise their wills. But it is important to remember that support is available to help professionals navigate these challenges – rather than avoiding them altogether.
As Rebecca Harbron Gray, Winn Solicitors Head of Wills, Probate and Trusts, explains: “Many people avoid writing a will and making plans for death for many years because they think it is a morbid or depressing process. But the truth is often that, once complete, people get a sense of comfort and relief from knowing that they have done all they can to protect and care for their nearest and dearest.
“At Winn Solicitors our team has decades of experience in this specialist field of law and we know how to make it simple and stress-free – no matter how complex your estate or family situation.”
With a dedicated team of legal specialists, and decades of experience in handling the legal processes involved in future-proofing businesses and settling financial affairs, Winn Solicitors can help you create a will that offers complete peace of mind, no matter what the future holds.
If you require support from the expert wills, probate and trust solicitors at Winn Solicitors, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0800 915 2328.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Winn Solicitors .
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