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Business Wills & Business Protection Plans

Business Wills 

Quite often people who wish to make a Will often instruct Solicitors to make a basic Will leaving their estate to a loved one absolutely without thinking about the long term implications for that person or the estate. While this is a well-meant decision, it can create a risk of Inheritance Tax, problems as regards care home fees and other inheritance risks. If a business is involved, without careful consideration, it can cause conflict or closure of the business.

Business Wills for Sole Traders, Partnerships and Limited Companies

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Sole Traders

Normally, a sole trader will know whether the business will simply close on death or they may wish to pass the business to another person in their Will. Our aim is to make sure that this happens.

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Partnerships

If a partnership has a partnership agreement in place, this may have provision for what is to happen to a partner’s interest and whether the business is to continue trading after a partner has passed away. Our aim is to ensure that the partner’s Will reflects the partner’s wishes.
Difficulties can arise when there is no partnership agreement in place. The law states that when one of the partners dies, the business must cease trading and any capital, income and liabilities must be split equally between the partners. This may not reflect the wishes of the partners. We can advise the partners about their concerns and prepare the necessary documents to protect them.

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Limited Companies

It is incredibly important for the Directors and shareholders to consider who they would want to inherit their interest in the business. If this is not considered, a person disconnected to the business could suddenly become involved in decision making and this may conflict with the surviving directors and shareholders.
The ability to transfer shares may be restricted by a Company’s Articles and it is therefore extremely important for the business owners to plan ahead to find the best way of passing on their interest in the business. This may involve advice regarding the company Articles, shareholder agreement, life policies and cross option agreements.

Taxation

In all the above types of business, the value of a person’s business interest could put an individual at risk of Inheritance Tax on their estate.

We can assist with the planning to help mitigate any potential tax liability and reduce the risk of losing allowances.

In addition any charges for work carried out on behalf of the business may be deducted as a taxable allowance.

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