What is a will and why do you need one?
We will provide you key information and questions for you to think about in regards to Estate planning in the event of Death.
So what is a will, in simple terms it is a document that becomes public record on your death, This will, spells out directs your wishes to whom you wish to receive your assets on death.
Why should you have a will?
We ask many people, have they got a will, you will be surprised to realize 60% of England and wales and Northern Ireland do not have a will in place. the other 40% say they have a will to show us in our FREE WILL CHECKING SERVICE, we check if you have signed the will yourself, or the beneficiaries have signed it as witness. (if so, the will can be invalid, or the beneficiaries forgo their inheritance.
If you like us to check over yours, simply email a copy or on whats app or zoom and we review your will and make sure your wishes are set out properly.
What happens if I do not have a will?
You will die intestate, meaning the state will oversee the dispensation of your assets, which it will typically distribute according to their rules.
Now ask yourself this question, What happens to your Business and shareholders in the event of death of either party, or if director is sole shareholder, or the director appointed shareholders to benefit from Dividends or income from their participation into the company?
This can have serious and dire consequences to both director and shareholders. We spend our time planning our education, our Employment or Business, marriage and children, yet how many plan in the event of Death. We have found many business owners have no business will directing their business asset or shares in the event of death.
Speak to us about Business wills for Directors/shareholders, or for the shareholder to have a will to direct to their chosen Beneficiaries. Now you realize that without a will at bare minimum what would happen to the company or shares in the event of Death?
Again this would end up intestacy rules and in many instances the vehicle to give others and income can be stuck in probate indefinitely.
Speak to us about the different types of Wills and their purpose.
Without a business will shareholders are unable to benefit and the company could cease trading losing customers as a result of intestacy rules.
We plan our life, yet how many use the right to use a will to direct your wishes and requests upon your death. Or Many put it off, to another day, then boom the inevitable happens and Life would of been easier for those Grieving if they had your will and instructions, to lesson the stress when your gone.
So your a Director and you have appointed shareholders what happens in the event of their death?
What if they were involved in the day to day operation, Firstly check articles of association within the company and how the shareholder agreement is set out. Without the shareholder having a will the people whom you wish to benefit in the event of your death, have no will to instruct them, (then a trust to operate) Trusts are covered separately. The company may not run, in the event of death so what happens to staff and customers, Without a will to direct your wishes and to whom, they may have no desire to be involved in running the company, Yet you may want them to benefit, so it is good to appoint an Executor of your wishes, in order to satisfy your requests. (in some circumstances it is beneficial to have all shareholders and potential beneficiaries, attend these Estate planning meetings in order to write out the will, and stop the fall out after. Or They simply did not know they were to benefit from your hard work as a shareholder.
Good reasons to having a will.
you can be clear about who gets your assets. You can decide who gets what and how much.
You can keep your assets out of the hands of people you don't want to have them (like an estranged relative). Or your children's partner if they divorce for example.
You can identify who should care for your children. Without a will, the courts will decide.
Your heirs will have a faster and easier time getting access to your assets.
You can plan to save your estate money on taxes. You can also give gifts and charitable donations, which can help offset the estate tax.
If you like to learn more about probate See this link;
What happens of a director Dies?
If there are more than one Director the company can run, but many fall into difficulty or disagreement without a will in place. If the deceased is the company’s sole director, but there are other shareholders, the surviving shareholders can hold a meeting to appoint a new company director, so for example the beneficiary whom is a shareholder, decides they do not want to run the company,they can appoint a new director.
As a company owner regular meetings should look at the articles of association and shareholder agreement However, this becomes more important where a company is currently relying on “Table A” articles under the Companies Act 1985, or where a company has a sole director and sole shareholder.
It could be as simple as including the right for the personal representatives to appoint a director on the death of a sole director, or including rights to allow surviving shareholders the first opportunity to buy the deceased’s shares.
What about cross option agreements?
This is a mechanism which can be put in place in addition to any amendments which might be required to the articles of association. It works like this:
Shareholders grant each other options which will only come into effect when one of them dies;
Each shareholder agrees that upon their death their fellow shareholders have the option to buy their shares at market value;
In addition, the shareholders agree that their personal representatives have the option on their death to sell the deceased’s shares to the surviving shareholders.