Lawyer's business will warning

Entrepreneurs are being warned to consider preparing a company will in order to safeguard the future of their business.

Friday, 6th July 2018, 9:37 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 4:48 pm
Kathryn Harwood

Kathryn Harwood, head of wills and estate planning at regional law firm Napthens, warns that many entrepreneurs are too busy building a business to think about what could happen if they died.

A typical scenario could see business partners who have grown a business between them and hold shares equally between them.

She said: “A common situation can see a surviving business owner find themselves in partnership with the family of their former business partner who now own half the shares and are involved in decision-making.

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"A useful solution to issues like this is a company will, which is actually not a single document but a three-stage process. First of all, the shareholders have a shareholder agreement, so if one dies, the survivor has the option to purchase the shares.”

She added this should be followed by shareholder life insurance policies in favour of the other, paid for by the company, to provide funding for the share purchase and wills directing shares into a trust.