As a business owner, you’ve probably spent years, and possibly even decades, building up a successful enterprise. If you’re approaching retirement, or just thinking about getting your affairs in order, the future of the business may well be on your mind.

Unless you have a clear successor, you’ll need to nominate a person, or persons, to take over in the event of your death. Thinking carefully about who you select, and providing them with the tools, information and know-how they need to succeed, will help your business to continue to thrive even after you’re gone.

Who will inherit if you don’t have a will?

If you don’t have a will in place when you die, your estate will automatically be divided according to UK intestacy laws. This means that your share of the company – or the entire enterprise if you’re the sole shareholder – will pass to your spouse or civil partner in the event of your death. If your partner is no longer alive, the business will be divided among your children. This rule applies even if your spouse or children have no experience of running a business and no interest in your industry.

How to ensure your company is in safe hands

If you’re not confident your spouse or children would be able to handle the running of your business after you die, writing a will is essential. In your will, you can decide exactly who’s put in charge when you’re not around to oversee operations for yourself.

If you still want your spouse or children to be involved in the business, or to receive financial support from it, you can stipulate this in your will. You may also want to think about dividing the business between your spouse, your children and other reliable business associates or placing the company in a trust until your kids come of age. Talk to an expert advisor to find out exactly how to protect your business, and your loved ones, before you put anything in writing.

How to write a will

If you own a business and are dividing up the company, putting it in a trust or distributing it in any other specific way after you die, you need to create a legally binding will. In order for your will to be legal, it needs to be worded, structured and witnessed in a precise format. The best way to ensure the document stands up to scrutiny – and therefore that it’s followed to the letter after you’re gone – is to use a professional will writing service.

Professionals will be able to offer you crucial support and advice when putting the document together. This advice can make a big difference to your decision-making process and help to ensure your company is properly run after your death.

Find out more about creating a will of your own by getting in touch with a member of our team today.

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