Wills & Business Assets

Safeguard your business for future generations

It is a fact that many business owners financial plans assume they will live long into retirement. Consequently, most have not made sufficient plans for when they die and fail to consider not only their families but also their business.

Without a valid Will the deceased’s share would be subject to the Laws of Intestacy and the person who inherits may not be the person you intended. Would you or your business partner be content to run your business with their surviving spouse or their beneficiaries? This could have a major impact on the running of the business or the value of the business may now go down following the death of such a key person.


Without the appropriate Business Succession strategies

  • Your spouse / partner and children may not inherit your share of a business.
  • Business partners may not be able to buy out the deceased’s share.
  • The surviving spouse or children may be obliged to take over the running of the business.
  • The value of the business could depreciate owing to the inexperience of any beneficiary.
  • The business may have to be sold and the proceeds become liable to Inheritance Tax.

This could leave your family, your business partners and employees with heartache, turmoil and, possibly, the folding of the business.

A Business Will sets out your wishes and divides your assets in the way you intended. It can protect your business partners against potential takeovers and allow them to buy your shares in the event of your death giving your family the cash.

We can also advise on how to drastically reduce, or even avoid, the Inheritance Tax payable when the business is passed to, or sold by, your family.

Why you need an exit strategy

Making a Company Will in your lifetime could not be easier if set out correctly. All the objectives and aspirations of the shareholder or partners are taken into consideration. With our bespoke service we will ensure every aspect is covered to ensure your business Will follows your wishes of your personal Will.

Most advisers will end the advice at this point and promise to review the protection and needs of the shareholders annually. But what about beyond death planning of a shareholder?

As an existing business owner you’ll have a clear vision of what you want to achieve from it and more importantly what you want when you retire or sell your shares. To maximise the value you get from the business it’s essential to think about how you’ll leave it further down the line.

Carefully planning your exit from the business can help you to:

  • mould your business into the ideal shape for your chosen exit option – maximising the value you get from it
  • groom successors if they’re coming from within the business – whether they’re a family member or part of your management team
  • exit at a time of your choosing, when the business is doing well and the market conditions are advantageous
  • Ideally, you should include an exit strategy in your start-up business plan. It can then be reviewed and revised whenever you work on your annual business plan and budget – and you can steer your business in the direction that your exit option demands.

If you manage an existing business and don’t have an exit plan, you should now think about what your preferred exit option might be – and consider whether you could change the way you run your business to help you achieve it.

The way in which you exit can affect:

  • the value you, and other shareholders, realise from the business
  • whether you receive a cash deal, deferred or staged payments
  • the future success of the business and its products or services
  • whether you retain any involvement in, or control, of your business
  • your tax liabilities
Exit Planning

Let Barnet Wills draft your Will to ensure your family is well provided for and that your business, business partners and employees are looked after in accordance with your wishes.

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