WILLS ARE NOT ALWAYS PERSONAL
Sarah Whitelock www.greenapplecommunications.co.uk
How many of us have considered what will happen to our business when we die? Thankfully, the majority of us will retire before that day comes but in the event of a sudden or unexpected death a business can be thrown into chaos when the owner is no longer around. At May’s North Warwickshire WIRE meeting http://www.wireuk.org/north-warwicks-network.html a large percentage of the members listening to a talk by Helen Strong, Senior Solicitor from the Coventry firm Newsome Vaughan, admitted that they had not really thought about it. Few of us realised the importance of including our business in our will in order to clarify who might benefit from a possible sale and to protect any co-owners.
“It’s really important” said Helen “That everyone makes a will but business owners need to cover both the professional and personal areas of their lives. Ideally the will is built into the business succession plan and considers the needs of partners, clients and family after the owner’s death. When you make a will you should also consider whether it’s advisable to appoint an executor for your personal estate and a separate executor for your business. If you die intestate (without a will) there is a legal formula for how things will be handled – even if that is not what you or your family would have chosen. One in three people die without leaving a will, including Picasso, and it can lead to some very unpleasant, and expensive, family disagreements.”
Helen also talked about the value of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which allows a trusted person to manage our financial or health and welfare affairs in the event of a long term illness. WIRE members who wish to speak to Helen about making a will or LPA can e mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.