If you own a business, it is important to consider what you would want to happen to this on your death, and to ensure that this is reflected in your Will. >
If your Will does not mention the business specifically, the business will pass along with your other assets, subject to any prior agreement such as a Shareholders Agreement that you may have in place, and so you should consider whether this is what you would want to happen. You should also consider the tax consequences of any gift, for example there may be tax advantages in not gifting the company directly to your spouse, which we can review with you.
It would be the responsibility of your Executors to manage the business for your estate until the administration of your estate is dealt with, and so you should review who you would like to take on this role.
We would also recommend considering who could run the business for you if you were incapacitated during your lifetime by illness or accident. If you have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place then your attorneys can undertake tasks which you would normally do for the business, such as accessing bank accounts. If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place this could cause problems for the business, and if you do have an attorney appointed it is worth considering whether your attorneys appointed to deal with your general affairs are also the people that you would want dealing with your business. If not, then you can have a Lasting Power of Attorney limited only to your business affairs, so please do contact us if you would like to discuss this further.
You should also ensure that you are aware of the terms of any Shareholders Agreements, and what would happen on the death of you or your business partner in order to ensure that the interests of your business are protected as you would want them to be.