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Business Owners

For business owners careful estate planning is vital otherwise a lifetime's achievement can easily be lost. It may take a whole generation to build up a company but there are many non-commercial factors that can conspire to ensure that as soon as the founder is unable to work normally the existence of the enterprise is seriously threatened.

Inheritance Tax:

Many private businesses are exempt from Inheritance Tax but unless this opportunity is used wisely, it's true value may be lost to the family and the government gleefully receiving a totally unnecessary tax windfall from all your hard work. A Business Trust Will can often be an ideal solution, even potentially allowing the value of the Inheritance Tax allowance to be doubled.

Mental Capacity:

Should the founder or one of the senior partners have an accident or illness affecting their ability to make decisions, then it is important that the right, trustworthy people have the legal right to substitute for that person. It might be that a Lasting Power of Attorney needs to be in place to ensure that the business can continue to trade normally.

Partnership Agreements:

If the concern is owned by more than one individual; Do they have an agreement in place to cover the ownership and distribution of joint assets in the instance of one partner dying. These can often be linked to insurance policies to ensure that three are sufficient funds available to satisfy both the requirements of the deceased partner's family and the needs of the business.

Succession Planning:

Who is going to succeed the founder should he suffer a fatal accident or injury, and does that individual have a will specifying that eventuality. Equally if it is a family business and the intention is for one child to inherit control of the business has careful thought been given to the overall distribution of the estate to prevent sibling discord destabilising the company.

For help and advice on any or all these issues please call our office to talk to one of our highly skilled consultants.

Cross option Agreements

If a partner in a business dies, there may be other problems. Apart from their loss to everyday business activity there may be imperative reasons to buy out their shareholding so that it does not pass to outside investors who do not share the vision of the company's future. Such unforeseen events can lead to crises, reduced revenues and even, in some cases business collapse. A cross option agreement maybe the answer for you.