Why business owners should review their Wills
Dec 10, 2018
Clients who come to see us to make their Wills leave with two things: The first is peace of mind that they have put the necessary arrangements in place. The second is a reminder that those arrangements will probably need to be revisited as time goes by.
A Will is a living document. It should be reviewed periodically. It should also be reviewed when certain key events or significant developments happen, so that it remains up-to-date and – crucially – effective. The danger in resting on your laurels is that the wishes you expressed in your Will (perhaps many years ago) will not necessarily be those you hold later in life, or could result in unintended tax consequences which could not have been foreseen at the time of making the Will. In some cases, terms of an outdated Will could be unenforceable.
The fast-paced world of business is classic territory for this. Changes in the management structure of a company, in share allocations, and in asset ownership can all have implications for Wills. We have come across many instances of intended beneficiaries missing out on things they had expected to receive because a Will had not kept apace with changes in the business; children not inheriting company property because it had (post-Will) become owned by people other than the Will-maker. That is just one example.
One of the other big issues to consider is succession. Will your business carry on after your death? Will you want it to be sold and its value shared among loved ones? Both routes will require a great deal of planning and documenting. And it is so important to remember that your Will is a key piece of paperwork to update alongside those you regard as ‘business documents’.
Many of our clients keep in regular touch with us about their Wills. There is no restriction in the number of times a Will can be amended. And because our team works closely with Company and Commercial colleagues, we will make sure that your company-related developments work on a business level and are properly reflected in your personal plans for the future.
For advice on Wills, or on any aspect of future planning, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01264 353411.
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