January 12, 2019

What Would Happen to Your Business If You or a Business Partner Died Suddenly?

Written by Ian Walker

If you have a Will in place, upon proof of death, the appointed Executors will initiate the necessary proceedings in line with your wishes including instructions relating to your business and / or shares.

If, however, you do not have a valid and up to date Will in place, consider that upon death, your business shares and responsibilities may be put on hold until your estate has been administered and probate completed in full which, depending on your estate, could take months if not longer.

Business partners may not be able to make decisions on your behalf during that time, your assets may be frozen, and without inheritance tax planning, your estate may be subject to a large tax bill.

Here are some other business matters that may also be affected:

Company Payments May Go Unpaid
If you are the sole shareholder of your business and employ staff, wages and suppliers may go unpaid until your estate has been administered, which may be months or longer.

Shares May Be Passed To A Person Not Involved In The Business
Who will the new person sitting on the board be? Will they share the same values and aspirations? If the new person has inherited a majority stake in the business, that person is effectively the new boss – do you know who that person is? All business owners need to ensure there is proper planning for succession.

Your Inheritance Tax Bill May Be Higher Than Needed
No matter how much you consider your business or assets to be worth, the people appointed to inherit your estate will receive the maximum inheritance tax bill which may be much larger than you think and much higher than it needs to be but for some proper planning.

There are many other pitfalls for business people passing on without an up to date and valid Will, so our advice is simple; If you don’t have a Will, contact us immediately, If you do have one but haven’t reviewed it for five years or more, contact us to ensure it reflects your current situation.

To arrange a free initial meeting to discuss this or other legal matters relating to your business, call 01792 450010 or email [email protected]

For more information, visit https://www.peterlynnandpartners.co.uk/wills-probate-trusts/