Legal Guide

The Importance Of Updating Your Will For Business Owners

Running a business is one of the biggest challenges you can face. Prioritising your time and ensuring that all essential business tasks are covered while also ensuring your business moves forward with the times is a daunting task. Unfortunately for many small business owners, the issue of succession planning isn’t prioritised as often as it should be. Perhaps this is because not many people like to talk about it, but the issue of what happens to your business if you are no longer around to run it is one that every business owner should face.

Many people assume that if they pass away, their business will be taken over in a logical order. Either a child that has been working in the business will take the reigns, or your spouse will take over the operation. In reality, this isn’t always the case, and businesses are susceptible to fail if no one is named in a will to take over the business. The courts will take a very different view on who should run the business and may even dissolve the business if an agreement can’t be met about who should run the business. If you want to avoid a similar fate for your business and ensure it lives on well after you pass away, it’s important to ensure your will is always up-to-date.

Protect your family

If your will isn’t up-to-date, your family could be left with nothing in the event that you pass away. In 2004, the Swedish author Stieg Larrson passed away without having his will witnessed leaving his partner with nothing. If you are unmarried but have a partner, they will struggle to make a claim to your business without a will in place.

Avoid conflicts

If one of your children has been working in your business and preparing to take over, but this isn’t stipulated in your will, then the business may be split between all of your children. This can lead to conflict, particularly if one child is faced with buying everyone out of the business. Dispute resolution solicitors may be brought in to solve these spats, which can cause irreversible damage to family relationships.

Reduce the tax burden

By placing the company in a trust, rather than passing it to your partner, they will continue to benefit from the company without being subject to inheritance tax when they pass away. This can lead to bigger savings for your children and grandchildren, and it will allow your company to stay within the family for generations.

If you are unsure about the state of your will, there are many trusted will solicitors in Manchester who will be able to guide you through this difficult task. While it may be something that we don’t want to think about, it’s better to get these things settled before it’s really too late.

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