Planning for the future of your food or drink business by making a Will

23 November, 2018

Whether you are in business on your own or with one or more partners, a key part of your business decision making will be centred around planning for the future.  These plans will no doubt include budgets, objectives, marketing strategies, perhaps an aim to launch a new product or service and (dare we say it…) contingency plans for Brexit!  But have you thought about how your business interests should pass on your death?

Here are four reasons why making or reviewing your existing Will and estate planning is particularly important when you are in business.

1. Your wishes

Whether you are in business or not, planning for the future (including making a Will) is important to ensure that your wishes are known and fulfilled following your death.  If you die without a Will, your estate will pass in accordance with the ‘intestacy rules’.  It is unlikely that these prescribed rules will result in your estate passing in accordance with your wishes.

Having business interests means there are additional considerations.  Will the business continue after my death?  If so, who will run the business?  Will my family want to be involved?  Who should receive my shares?  You should carefully consider who your business interests should pass to and record this in your Will.

2. Company documents

It is important to check that your Will fits hand in hand with any relevant company documents. For example, a shareholder’s agreement might set out what happens to a person’s shares on death and should be taken into account in preparing your Will.

 3. Inheritance Tax (‘IHT’) reliefs

Currently, certain business interests qualify for 100% relief from IHT, which would otherwise be charged at 40%.  A properly structured Will can help to ensure that your beneficiaries receive as much as possible from your estate by maximising these valuable IHT reliefs.

 4. Executors’ powers

The death of a business owner can have a serious impact on the business that many people have worked hard to build.  When making a Will, it is important that the executors (those people appointed to handle the administration of your estate) are given the powers needed to run your business during the administration period.

To take the first step in planning for the future of your business and to discuss your Will please contact Hannah Glover on 01892 506 057 or at hannah.glover@crippspg.co.uk.