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Although it is important for everyone to make a Will, it is particularly vital for those who own businesses. Without valid preparation, if someone passes away intestate then the future of the business, associated assets and wealth will be determined by the state and not your own personal intentions. Not ideal when you have worked so hard to provide for your future.

 

When running a family business you will respect how important it is to evaluate risk and protect both your business and your loved ones. Should you pass away, fall very ill or lose your mental capacity – is your planning robust enough so that the business can continue or progress in the way you had hoped?

 

Here is where a well thought-out Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney become key documents in your arsenal of protection. This planning means that decisions can be made on your behalf according to the wishes you have previously set out, or if you passed away, the reins of the business would be handed over to the appointed person or divided in the way you intended.

 

We understand that families are often more complicated than they appear from the outside – often business owners will have family members that are involved with the business and others that aren’t, yet they wish all to benefit (or be excluded) from their estate in slightly different ways.

For example, we had a widower client who owned a well-established engineering company where the son was a linchpin in the business’s success. This client also had a daughter who was not interested in the business, but he wanted to ensure her and his grandchildren were provided for in other ways. In this scenario a carefully written Will would see that the daughter benefitted from the property and investments that our client owned, and that the son would inherit the business alone, providing for them both upon his death without the need for them to worry about dividing assets.

 

Another consideration for family business owners is inheritance tax planning. With professional guidance and planning it is possible for the value of your business passes into a trust rather than your overall estate. This can be used to reduce your IHT liability and ensure that more of your hard-earned wealth passes to your family rather than the tax man!

 

This may all seem like a lot to consider but once the documents are all in place the hard work is done and it will give you peace of mind that in all eventualities your family and your business are taken care of.

 

To discuss your own personal circumstances with an expert, please contact James Phipps, Partner and Head of our Private Client Department on 01256 844888 or email james.phipps@lambbrooks.com

"We were pleased to get legal advice on potentially complicated matters in a friendly, straightforward and understandable manner. The advice provided has helped in planning our future and provided reassurance that we are taking the current actions."

Anon

Key Contacts

James Phipps

Partner & Head of Private Client

Lisa Perry

Associate Solicitor

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