For those who have a sound business that they would like to pass on to family members or other beneficiaries, then it’s worthwhile planning for succession.
If you do not have a valid will, then your share of the business will be subject to the laws of intestacy and this may lead to someone inheriting who may not be the person you intended to benefit. Among the questions are whether you and your business partner are happy to run a business with a surviving spouse or a beneficiary? This situation could have a big impact on the running of the business and affect its value.
The friendly Will Writing Group team will be able to discuss an appropriate business succession strategy.
Succession and Exit Strategies...
Careful thought needs to be given about your business succession and exit strategies when writing your Will.
For example, your Will may favour your partner or spouse so they inherit your share of a business or the entire family business. But what happens if they do not want to run the business? And what happens should the Will’s beneficiaries decide to sell the business?
Some thought will also need to be given to a beneficiary who may not only, not want to run the business but also may be at risk from divorce, remarriage or bankruptcy. By selling the business, the proceeds will be added to their estate which could create, potentially, an inheritance tax (IHT) liability when they die.
Your Will will need to include issues such as the ‘right to buy’ and the ‘right to sell’ business shares to remaining business partners or other beneficiaries.
The Will Writers Group can help with succession and exit strategies.
Impact of Standard Cross Option Agreement...
The issue of business succession planning needs careful thought since this also includes the potential impact that a ‘standard cross option’ agreement – which deals with the shares in a business – may have on someone’s estate.
For example, should you or a business partner die their share in a business will pass to their beneficiaries or spouse through their Will.
This share will then be seen as part of their estate and they may qualify for Business Property Relief (BPR) or be exempt from Inheritance Tax Liabilities (IHT).
However, when the cross option has been created then the standing of the BPR as well as liability for IHT will be affected. Also, the assets may be at risk from potential future creditors, bankruptcy and remarriage claims. There’s also the issue of long-term care costs to consider.
By opting for a cross option agreement, it is possible to mitigate for these circumstances, particularly for the potential for capital gains tax and inheritance tax liabilities.
The friendly team the Will Writers Group will explain more.
Why You Need an Exit Strategy...
As a business owner, or director, it is important that when making a Will that it is done correctly so the business’s shareholders and your partner’s aspirations and objectives are taken into account.
It’s important to speak with experts who understand why an exit strategy is so important. This means you will need to have a clear idea of what your exit strategy will achieve to help maximise the value from the business.
For more help and advice on this subject, contact the Will Writers Group.
Share Release Exit Strategy...
Among the considerations for a business owner or director writing their Will, is the question of the business’s shares particularly if the company is sold at some point in the future.
There may be tax liabilities under capital gains (CGT) and the shares may also qualify for business property relief (BPR) currently and be free from inheritance tax (IHT) liabilities as well.
Advisors may discuss selling your shares by using a share release trust so they can be free of capital gains tax and any reinvestment from the proceeds can also be free from CGT.
In order to maximise the tax efficiencies of how you exit your business, then you should seek appropriate advice from experienced advisors. The Will Writers Group will be able to offer more help on this issue.