There are numerous reasons why you should make a Will.
However, as a business owner, there are several reasons why a simple Will may not be sufficient: a more bespoke Business Will might be required:
For certain businesses, the business must cease trading on death. This could cause a catastrophic effect on the value of the business meaning that the beneficiary or beneficiaries you wish to pass the business onto may receive little or no inheritance
You may wish to appoint specific people to administer different aspects of your business to those for your personal estate
For Inheritance Tax efficiency (IHT)
Business and Inheritance Tax (IHT)
Although Inheritance Tax may be avoided if you leave your business to a spouse or civil partner, your children or other beneficiaries may be obliged to pay Inheritance Tax.
By gifting your business assets in your Will into one or more Business Trusts the surviving spouse and children can make use of the assets during their lifetime and are not subject to Inheritance Tax on the second person’s death. The trust(s) can be used in conjunction with a Cross Option Agreement within your Will.
Business Lasting Power of Attorney
Appointing a trusted representative to deal with your business affairs
Dealing with money and paperwork can be difficult if you become unable to manage your personal affairs for any reason, and in certain cases it may be impossible. The same can be equally said for business affairs.
Before that should happen it could be easier to appoint a trusted representative known as an attorney, who can look after your business finances and transactions for you if the situation arise.
Shareholder/Partnership Cross-Option Agreements
This is an agreement that can be put in place by the joint owners of a business in conjunction with life insurance policies that are taken out for each business partner. The policies will reflect the value of the business relating to each partner and re-valued after each year end accounts.
There is an ‘option’ involved for both parties to the agreement. If the surviving business partners want to purchase the deceased partner’s holding in the business then then beneficiaries of the deceased partner’s estate must sell. Conversely if the beneficiaries want to sell the shares, the business partners must buy.
It is important to note that this is a non-binding agreement which means that when the estate is assessed for Inheritance Tax the shares are still eligible for relief.
Most of us work because we have to, and put up with added stress of running our own business in the hope of one day growing enough wealth to relax and enjoy spending it. Sadly it rarely happens by accident! Getting your hard- earned money out of your Company can be almost as difficult as making it in the first place. The secret is in advanced succession planning.
Whether you hope to sell your company, pass it down to your children or management team, or to close it down and dispose of its assets, you need a long-term strategy in place to minimize taxation and maximize profit long before you retire. We can offer a wide range of ideas for you to consider and help you along each step of the way.