When you start up a business, the last thing you will be thinking about is the time when you will be unable to carry on. However, it is important to take a reality check in this matter because no one lives forever and many people die well before they expected to. If you leave your business without any plans for a time when you are not there to run it, all your hard work may be lost and your family left without the assets you expected them to inherit.
Once you speak to a good commercial lawyer you will see that there are many ways to protect your business assets and ensure they are passed on to your family, but they vary to a certain extent depending on the type of business structure you used to set up the business. It could be a sole trader, partnership, have several co-owners and so on. But one thing is for sure; no matter what type it is, if there is no estate plan or Will, much of the value will be lost, going to the state to cover the cost of settlement.
With recent changes to the laws regarding business there are now more ways to separate your business assets from the risk of litigation and other business risks. Lawyers can help you to wade through the often confusing legalities involved in protecting your business assets from loss. They are also the best people to help you work out the best and most efficient ways to ensure the assets of your business go to your heirs should you not be around to run the business.
Sometimes, setting up a trust is the way to go. This protects your business so it can become a legacy to your family rather than a burden.
Whether you own a business or not, it is still important to make out a Will at the very least, so that your final wishes can become reality for your family and so that there will be no family disputes regarding your estate and who should benefit most. If you have a lot of assets from various sources it is even more important to ensure your estate planning is up to date and you should review it from time to time when your personal circumstances change.
Even with the passing years there could be more children born or others may pass away. Children can marry and then pass away, leaving their spouse to collect their inheritance. There can be divorce, widowhood or remarriage. This can result in an unfair distribution of assets that can cause family disruptions and in any case, might not be what you intended.
When you review your estate plan whether it is for business or a personal estate, these things can be taken care of.